Reading culture needs to be cultivated in Brunei

National 2 minutes, 16 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE ongoing need to enforce a reading culture among the Brunei society and the ways to address it, were reiterated yesterday by the Deputy Permanent Secretary of Core Education.

Reading is not yet considered a general culture among our people, compared to countries such as Japan, China and Korea, said Hj Suhaila Hj Abd Karim at the 30th Mekar-Juara Pelajar Student Essay Contest prize presentation ceremony.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary reminded the audience about the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan’s recent titah at the 23rd Teacher’s Day Celebration in September, reminding students, teachers and academics to always enforce a reading culture in order to produce scholars of a higher caliber.

“Reading not only helps students reinforce vocabulary and linguistic knowledge, it also helps to increase knowledge.

“Reading can help to exercise the mental mind and strengthen the network of the human brain, as well as stimulate the formation of new neural networks. This indirectly improves a person’s ability to concentrate, as well as a person’s EQ (emotional intelligence quotient),” he said.

He also noted that people will be able to further contribute to the current civic, social, economic and political by reading.

Hj Suhaila then recommended some ways parents can help inculcate love of reading in their children.

“Parents should play an important part as role models for children, and not just hand over the task of fostering a reading culture to teachers alone,” he said.

Parents should take the initiative to spend on books for their children, and take advantage of book promotions, when possible, he added.

He further called for a closer working relationship between the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) and the Ministry of Education (MoE), with regards to the recently implemented MoE national reading campaign.

“The national reading campaign has one objective and one purpose: to encourage community involvement by getting teachers, parents and the general public, to guide and lead their children to read.”

He further said that there is still a lack of reading materials that are suitable for all ages of Brunei, which are written in the local context and suggested to start with stories based on Brunei’s rich history.

“If these stories can be made interesting in publication, then it could add to the treasures of our nostalgic past. For example, the way in which Kampong Ayer looks today is quite different from how it was before.”

“However, it would be necessary for these publications to be compatible with the tastes of the current generation of children and teenagers,” he added.

“Therefore, I suggest that we conduct a brief review of current children’s and adolescents’ preferences for publication formats or designs before we start publishing reading materials.”

The Brunei Times