Reading habit can help children do well in school

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PARENTS should be more creative in encouraging their children to read books, said a senior education officer.

Hjh Badriah Hj Saidin, Acting Senior Special Duties Officer at the Curriculum Development Department said parents who expose their children to early reading is proven to ensure their children’s success in school.

She was speaking during the launch of five history books produced by the Curriculum Development Department held recently at the Rimba I Primary School,

She said this gives more reason for parents to encourage their children to read more.

Not only does reading improve children’s language development, it is also the strongest predictor of school success, she said.

The education officer said young children who do not practise reading are at the highest risk of reading below grade level once they begin school, noting the importance of basic literacy skills.

“The most important thing to remember is that reading should be an enjoyable experience. Parents must help students stimulate their interest in reading,” she said.

She said this was one of the reasons why the Curriculum Development Department under the Ministry of Education introduced the ‘Reading 40 books’ programme last year.

The ‘Reading 40 books’, is a pilot programme introduced in three primary schools in the Brunei-Muara district in a bid to increase the number of students to read daily.

The three schools that are currently conducting the pilot reading programme are Pulaie Primary School, Amar Pahlawan Primary School and Mabohai Primary School.

Hjh Badriah said such programmes could become a catalyst towards the development of the country.

The pilot programme requires students to read more than 40 books within one year and it also encourages creativity in writing.

Hjh Badriah Hj Saidin said pupils were each given a logbook to record all their readings, which will be monitored by their teachers and parents.

“Students get to choose any book of their interest, and they are also required to sketch their favourite characters of the book they read,” she said, adding that children are urged to read both Malay and English books.

She said pupils who have successfully read more than 120 books will be presented with a ‘gold certificate’ and a badge, while students who exceeded more than 80 books will be given a ‘silver’ certificate.

Those who read over 40 books within one year will receive a ‘bronze’ certificate.

“We thought that doing this will encourage students to read more and create a reading culture amongst students,” she said.

She also urged for the continued promotion of books as children these days are more interested in using electronic gadgets.

The Brunei Times