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Find more creative ways to get children to read, says Nancy Shukri

Publish date: Mon, 05 Jun 2023, 09:15 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — More creative efforts are needed to encourage children to read, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

She said it was important to encourage children to choose reading materials over social media as their main source of information in order for them to learn how to think.

“My personal view is that we need to be more creative to find ways to get children interested in reading and to show interest when they have found something that they like.

“At times comic books do promote creative and critical thinking as the reader, be it a child or anyone, will be required to think,” she told reporters at the launch of the book Puisi Ganjil: SaTU! written by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) board of governors member Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman at the 2023 Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair, here today.

Earlier in her speech, Nancy said the local book industry, has not reached the target set by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on book publishing for developed countries, which is one per cent of the total population.

“This means that the country should publish 30,000 book titles considering that the population of Malaysia has reached over 30 million.

“In 2020, a total of 15,080 book titles were published, the following year, 13,655 book titles were released... this shows we are still far from the actual target for a developed country,” she said.

As such, Nancy said the role of writing books should not be limited to academics or professional writers alone but the public including corporate figures should also be involved in the production of books and literary works.

“This is not impossible because Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah who is a corporate figure has accomplished this despite his busy schedule.

“Literature should continue to be relevant in shaping civilisation and developing a society,” she said adding that it is also a reflection of humanity. — Bernama

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