427 babies enrolled in literacy project
BANDAR SERI BEGWAN
A TOTAL of 427 babies nationwide are enrolled in this year’s Early Literacy Programme (Program Awal Literasi) by the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP).
According to DBP, these babies comprised of those born in February this year, an increase from 356 ‘February babies’ that are enlisted under the programme last year. Launched in 2014, it is a national programme that encourages and supports parents to teach their infants from the earliest possible age with reading materials.
Under the programme, participating parents are given a pack of educational books of numbers and alphabetic in Malay and English for them to read out to their newborns in which the babies’ progress is monitored and observed by the bureau until the babies reach five years of age.
The third batch of participating parents under the programme were given these packs yesterday by Datin Hjh Kalshom Hj Suhaili, spouse of the minister of culture, youth and sports as guest of honour at the handover ceremony. Acting Director of DBP, Hjh Nortijah Hj Mohd Hassan highlighted the importance of the programme in nurturing reading culture among Bruneian parents and their children.
She elaborated that the books given to parents of the newborns served to enhance children’s literacy skills including their competencies in listening, speaking, reading, writing and thinking.
“In this modern world, it is vital for children to acquire these literacy skills (at early age) in order to better prepare and equip themselves for school life and further education,” she said.
The programme also hopes to foster the interest and love of reading from the children’s infancy stage in line with the nation’s Vision 2035, added the DBP officer. Held in conjunction of the nation’s Family Day, the event also featured a performance of the bureau’s programme theme song, ‘Bacalah’ by Syafiqah Rosli and Kuntum Bersemi group. Also in attendance was Permanent Secretary of Culture, Youth and Sports Datin Paduka Dr Hjh Norlila Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Jalil.
The Brunei Times