The influence of social media that displays a lot of entertainment and silly jokes causes many students to not have time to read. They enjoy reading stories on social media, such as news of divorced artists, Korean artists coming to Malaysia, netizens' comments, and watching useless videos. They spend a lot of time interacting and watching videos on social media. They are not like the previous generation who like to go to the library in the evenings and weekends. As a result, they lack knowledge about current issues that are often asked in essay questions. For example, the issue of environmental pollution can result in the spread of infectious diseases. Although this issue is easy, many students fail to answer this question well.
This situation occurs because they do not like to read new knowledge found in academic magazines, textbooks, and newspapers. As a result, their knowledge is very lacking. Because of that, they could not write mature essays so they got very low marks. If they are not interested in reading scientific books, they will fall behind. This culture of reading should start at home from a young age. What I always see are parents and children engrossed in looking at each other's smartphone screens all the time. They do not communicate with each other. They are busy writing and reading messages on WhatsApp, TikTok, WeChat, Telegram and Facebook. Because of that they don't have time to read.
I always chat with students about their activities at home after coming home from school. They tell that they spend time playing online games. There are four popular types of online games that they are interested in, namely Ragnarok Online, Dota/War, Counter Strike, and Command and Conquer: Red Alert. They play this online game until morning. As a result, they sleep less. The majority of students who are addicted to these online games are male students. However, female students are also involved.
In my opinion, reading culture is very important if we want to produce many intelligent people. The government needs to have more programs to attract people to buy books and read books. Schools in our country should inculcate a love of reading among students intensively. If they don't read a lot, they will definitely fail to answer the questions that require them to think. The exam questions now focus more on Higher Level Thinking Skills (HTHS). Students who do not like to read will definitely not be able to give the correct answer. They write immature answers. As a result they get low marks and eventually fail.