La falta de comprensión de lectura: ¿Una crisis del conocimiento?

Leonel Fernández

Santo Domingo, RD

Provocó gran preocupación la reciente pu­blicación rea­lizada por el Ministerio de Economía, Planificación y Desarro­llo (MEPyD), en el sentido de que un 62.3% de la po­blación dominicana de 10 años no podía compren­der la lectura de un simple texto.

A decir verdad, resul­tó desconcertante. Parece imposible concebir la idea de que una nueva genera­ción en la República Do­minicana carezca de las habilidades o destrezas mínimas necesarias para descodificar un texto y dis­cernir sobre su significado.

No se trataba, empero, solo de un descubrimien­to del organismo guber­namental encargado del análisis económico y desa­rrollo nacional, sino de los resultados de un estudio regional, de carácter com­parativo, realizado por la UNESCO en el 2019.

A esto, por supuesto, se le suman los fatídicos resul­tados obtenidos en la últi­ma participación de nues­tro país en los exámenes Pisa, en 2018, donde que­damos en el último lugar del promedio general en lectura, por debajo de la media de los países de la OCDE y de América Latina.

Resulta, entonces, con­movedor ver como nues­tros estudiantes, especial­mente los más jóvenes, que representan la fuerza esperanzadora del futuro, se quedan rezagados en comparación con sus pa­res en el resto del mundo.

Esto cobra aún más im­portancia si tomamos en consideración que tie­ne lugar en la que ha sido llamada la sociedad de la información y el conoci­miento, donde el verda­dero valor agregado ya no consiste en la manufactu­ra o producción, sino en el mundo del saber y de las ideas.

Pero ¿por qué se en­cuentran en esa condición desventajosa nuestros ni­ños y jóvenes? ¿Qué con­diciones existen que no les permiten una mejor com­prensión lectora, y con ello, un mejor desempeño aca­démico?

Uno de los factores que podemos identificar es que la escuela dominicana no ha sido capaz de poner en ejecución un verdadero plan de lectura. Esto se lo­gra, principalmente, con la selección de textos apropia­dos para cada edad, los cua­les deben estar disponibles, sobre todo para aquellos es­tudiantes cuyos padres no tengan la capacidad econó­mica para adquirirlos.

Rol de las bibliotecas
Es ahí, precisamente, don­de mejor puede apreciar­se lo determinante que re­sultan ser las bibliotecas en el sistema educacional de nuestro país. Conforme al Pacto por la Educación, suscrito en el 2014 por los principales actores de la vi­da nacional, se estableció el compromiso de disponer de bibliotecas escolares.

Naturalmente, al esta­blecerse bibliotecas se va a requerir, a su vez, de la ne­cesidad de contar con biblio­tecarios, que son los especia­listas encargados de servir de guías para identificar los textos adecuados que deben ser leídos por los estudian­tes, dependiendo de la edad y del nivel escolar.

La lectura, como se sa­be, consiste en un proceso de descodificación de los signos o letras, que a su vez forman palabras, frases e ideas. Si los niños no tienen el conocimiento sobre el significado de las palabras, por contar con un vocabula­rio insuficiente, es evidente que no podrán comprender a plenitud el significado o el contexto de lo que están le­yendo.

Actualmente, existe una institución, dependien­te de la UNESCO, que es el Consejo Regional pa­ra el Fomento del Libro en América Latina y el Caribe (CERLALC), del cual la Re­pública Dominicana forma parte, que puede coordinar con nuestros bibliotecarios la selección de textos ade­cuados conforme a la evo­lución intelectual de nues­tros jóvenes.

En su etapa de forma­ción como jóvenes lecto­res, nuestros estudiantes necesitan ser debidamente orientados para, en los ca­sos de lecturas de ficción, como cuentos y novelas, poder descifrar la trama, identificar los personajes, entender el contexto; y, co­mo consecuencia, desarro­llar capacidad creativa e imaginación.

De igual manera, desa­rrollar destrezas para inter­pretar textos informativos. Así, construye capacidad lógica, sentido analítico y pensamiento crítico. En conjunto, mayores condi­ciones para argumentar, mejorando sus niveles de comunicación, tanto oral como escrita.

Además de bibliotecas es­colares, para contar con una verdadera política de pro­moción del libro y la lectura, resulta imprescindible esta­blecer redes de bibliotecas a nivel nacional. Se tendría una bien dotada Biblioteca Nacional, bibliotecas univer­sitarias, bibliotecas munici­pales y bibliotecas móviles.

Entre limitaciones y posibilidades
Si más del 60% de nues­tros escolares de 10 años de edad no pueden compren­der una simple lectura, la culpa no es de ellos. Se de­be, más bien, a un sistema educativo atrapado en las redes del pasado. Un siste­ma en que las escuelas ca­recen de bibliotecas, no se fomenta la lectura y no hay selección de libros confor­me a la edad o nivel escolar.

En fin, los estudiantes, a veces, ni siquiera tienen ac­ceso al más elemental e im­prescindible de los libros: el diccionario, sin el cual no podrán encontrar el signi­ficado de las palabras que desconocen, y por lo tanto, estarán desprovistos de la herramienta fundamental que permite el acceso al co­nocimiento.

No es que a lo largo de los años no se haya hecho nada en nuestro país por fomen­tar el libro y la lectura. A par­tir de 1997 se empezaron a realizar ferias internaciona­les del libro, a las cuales acu­dían casas editoras de distin­tas partes del mundo, con ofertas dirigidas a públicos de distintas edades. El 2007 fue declarado el Año del Li­bro y la Lectura; y al año si­guiente, 2008, se promulgó la Ley de Promoción del Li­bro y la Lectura. Esa disposi­ción legal declaró de interés nacional la política de fo­mento de la lectura y la crea­ción de un sistema nacional de bibliotecas.

Durante esos años, se re­modeló por completo la Bi­blioteca Nacional y se des­tinaron recursos para una notable adquisición de li­bros. Se construyó la Bi­blioteca Pedro Mir, en la Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, al igual que en cada una de las ex­tensiones universitarias de la UASD, en Bonao, Santia­go, Mao, Puerto Plata, Na­gua, San Juan, Barahona y La Altagracia. Se construye­ron varias bibliotecas muni­cipales y se brindó apoyo a diversos centros biblioteca­rios barriales.

En la actualidad, nues­tros jóvenes reciben una gran cantidad de informa­ción, sobre todo a través de medios digitales. Esto, en sí mismo, nada tiene de ne­gativo. Pero se requiere del hábito de la lectura para po­der procesar esta informa­ción y convertirla en cono­cimiento.

Esa capacidad, a su vez, es lo que permitirá a nues­tros jóvenes estudiantes aprovechar al máximo las oportunidades que la so­ciedad y la economía del conocimiento nos brindan. Nuestro futuro como na­ción descansa en la opor­tunidad que esa nueva ge­neración pueda tener para moldear su inteligencia, do­tarse de conocimientos y cultivar valores éticos para transformar su entorno so­cial.

 

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