LETTER : Struggling with basic skills

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The Independent Online
Sir: I read with amusement the various theories propounded as to why a decline in standards of literacy has taken place. In fact, the explanation requires neither national surveys nor scholarly research. In almost every home in Britain is a television. It is switched on when the first member of the family gets up in the morning, and switched off by the last one to go to bed.

The business of watching television accounts for the vast majority of most children's leisure time; indeed, for many it is their sole recreation. This being so, it does not require an educationist to deduce that, because they devote so little time to reading, they will not become proficient readers.

A HARDING

Stansted, Essex

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