Organise more book fairs: parents

National 2 minutes, 56 seconds


PARENTS have called for more reading campaigns and book fairs to develop reading habits among children and adults.

At the Ministry of Education’s first national reading campaign, Hasnah Harun said some parents do not mind spending money buying toys for their children nowadays, but think twice about buying books.

“We tend to spoil our children with toys and unnecessary things but we don’t normally buy them books. We should change that culture,” she said, adding that children can use their imagination in books and encourage creativity.

“Good books will allow and encourage children to think outside of the box and be creative,” she added.

Members of the public interviewed by The Brunei Times yesterday welcomed the campaign to promote a strong reading culture.

“The reading campaign is good and I hope more reading campaigns such as this are organised in the future,” said Mawarni Hj Mohd Taib.

The housewife said she has always encouraged her daughter to read. “I allow my daughter to choose whatever reading materials she wants but I will make sure that it is suitable for her.”

Mawarni added that she encouraged all her children to be bilingual in Malay and English.

“I make sure that they have mixed genres and topics to read so their knowledge and creativity can be expanded. I also encourage my children to read newspapers so that they are updated with current news,” she said.

Another mother, Hjh Mas Hamid, said her nine-year-old daughter Aqilah Najwa Abdul Wahab is a bookworm.

“At her age, she is into adventure books and I would allow her to read the genre as it can enhance her creativity,” she said.

Hjh Mas added that even though she gives her daughter the freedom to select her books, she would make sure the book is suitable for her age.

“The reading campaign is very good in exposing children to a wide variety of books and I would love to see more campaigns organised in the future. I also would like to see more book fairs organised in Brunei such as the ones in Malaysia,” she said.

She commended the charity book sale organised by the Community Partnership Committee at the Ministry of Education. “The books sold at the books are very cheap and it would encourage more people to buy books for their family members,” she said.

Hj Zulkarnain Hj Saidin from Kampung Masin said he chose colouring and sticker books for his four-year-old daughter, Nuru Ain Nazihah.

“It is an introduction to books and I hope when she grows up, she will love books,” said the father.

Saiful Azhar Hj Ramli said he came to The Airport Mall because he heard about the reading campaign from the news.

“I am happy to see that there is quite a selection of books sold by the book stalls here especially fun books for children. Such books can encourage children to fall in love with story books or novels when they grow up,” he said.

He added that he would always select books of prophets that are both educational and interesting for his children.

A committee member of Community Partnership at the MOE who organised the charity book sale said public response was encouraging.

The member who did not wish to be named said they had to replenish the books as the earlier batch was sold out because of the books’ affordable prices. Proceeds of the sale will be used to help needy students.

The three-day reading campaign ends today.

The Brunei Times