Weak reading culture cited for SMAS performance drop in 2015

National 2 minutes, 9 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

AWANG Semaun Secondary School’s (SMAS) GCE O-level performance dropped 6.24 per cent last year and a weak reading culture among its students has been identified as one of the reasons, said a senior official from the school yesterday.

Hj Jafri Hj Suhaili, principal of the school, in his opening remarks at the celebration of World Book Day and Copyright Day said the lack of reading, lack of understanding of lessons and questions, contributed to the decline in performance.

He had said in a previous interview that while some subjects such as Maths and Science classes excelled, English remained a subject that needed further improvement.

“The lack of reading that has resulted in students not being able to understand the contents of the lessons as studying is not only about listening to the words but also to read notes and textbooks,” said Hj Jafri. To address the problem, the principal said that yesterday’s celebration was aimed at promoting the reading culture among students on a bigger scale and to raise awareness about the event itself.

According to Md Syafiq Hj Abu Bakar, the school’s head of English Department and head of Professional Development, his department would usually coordinate and organise activities for Book Day and Copyright Day. This included getting the teachers involved in the event such as dressing up as book characters and holding poster making competition.

“(However) this year, we have included the celebration as part of our literacy programme to further push and improve our reading culture and by involving other departments in the school so we can reach that objective better,” said Md Syafiq.

He added the school celebrated this year’s event by promoting book reading through exhibitions, presentation of book reviews and quizzes among others with the aim of introducing students to various types and genres of books aside from the normal story books.

The school had also invited an English Literature teacher and her students from the Sengkurong Sixth Form Centre to share their knowledge and analysis of poetry to motivate the secondary school students on what they can do with language after they have completed their GCE O-levels.

A book donation was also set up in the school, officiated by the event’s guest of honour Special Duties Officer from the Ministry of Education (MOE) Marina Chek Bujang who donated $200 for the school to purchase more books.

Book donations were also received from the State Mufti’s Office, Curriculum development department, MOE, Brunei Library Association, Asfi Book World as well as from teachers and students.

The Brunei Times