Brunei committed to excellence in literacy

National 1 minute, 50 seconds


TODAY marks the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day.

Celebrated worldwide, its aim has been to actively mobilise the international community and promote literacy as an instrument to empower individuals, communities and societies since its proclamation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on November 17, 1965.

In line with these goals, Brunei has been enroling families of newborn babies in the Early Literacy Programme to encourage and support parents to teach their children from an early age.

In a phone interview yesterday, library officer Mohd Hilme Mohd Yahya from the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) said a total of 863 families have enrolled in the programme since it began in 2014 with the most recent enrolment conducted in May this year.

Participants of the programme are given a free book kit and membership to all nine public libraries in the country.

Follow-up briefings are also held for parents to educate them on the proper methods to teach their children, particularly those aged one to three years old.

According to Hilme, the DBP is scheduled to conduct more follow-up briefings starting with Brunei-Muara district on September 13 and ending with Temburong on September 17.

According to statistics released by the ASEAN Secretariat in 2013, Brunei had the second highest adult literacy rate, at 96.8 per cent, in the region during the 2000 to 2011 period.

This year’s main global celebration of International Literacy Day will take place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in the form of a two-day conference on September 8 and 9.

The conference, with the theme ‘Reading the Past and Writing the Future’, seeks to celebrate and honour the past five decades of national and international engagement, efforts and progress made to increase literacy rates around the world.

The conference will also address current challenges and discuss innovative solutions to further boost literacy.

UNESCO has celebrated International Literacy Day every year since 1966.

“The world has changed since 1966, but our determination to provide every woman and man with the skills, capacities and opportunities to become everything they wish, in dignity and respect, remains as firm as ever. Literacy is a foundation to build a more sustainable future for all,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova on UNESCO’s website.

The Brunei Times