Sunday, December 4 2016

VietNamNews

Getting country children reading

Update: September, 18/2016 - 09:00
Nguyễn Quang Thạch poses with children holding books received through the Books for rural areas of Vietnam programme. The programme has recently been awarded the 2016 UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize. Photo vietnamplus.vn
Viet Nam News

A man called Nguyễn Quang Thạch is very passionate about getting children to read.

So much so that he even walked all the way from Hà Nội to Ho Chi Minh City to tell people about how important it was and to raise funds.

Now he has set up reading programmes for children in farming areas.

The project has even won a special United Nations prize.

HÀ NỘI — The Books for rural areas of Vietnam programme, carried out by The Center for Knowledge Assistance and Community Development (CKACD), has been awarded the 2016 UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize.

The programme is part of a campaign to encourage reading in Việt Nam’s rural areas by bringing books to libraries and bookshelves in those areas, with an aim to motivate children to read more books and improve their general knowledge.

Nguyễn Quang Thạch , 41, who is the founder of the Centre for Knowledge Assistance and Community Development, spent 19 years studying library design and applying library models, with his first three libraries in 2007.

To date, the number has increased to more than 9,000 small libraries in 26 provinces.

It will be expanded throughout the whole country by 2020 under the support of the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourisms as well as the engagement of millions of local people and Vietnamese overseas.

In 2010, he walked 1,750 kilometres from Hà Nội to HCM City to raise funds and awareness to set up libraries for 15 million rural children.

The programme has also provided hands-on training and collaborative teamwork to operate the libraries and create activities to encourage reading.

He introduced the programme to the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture and educators in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.

“Before I even heard that the programme had won I had sent a letter to many Indian organisations explaining the benefits of the idea. I want other countries that have large poor populations with little access to books to apply my library system too. I want to walk in India to call Indian people to build libraries for all children,” he said on UNESCO’s website.

He added that the seed was sown when he was a child and that the reading habit is cultivated in families. In his family, his grandfather and father had a large collection of books and he grew up knowing how important they were for increasing knowledge.

“I want to continue my ancestors work. I want all children in Việt Nam to have books to read.”

There remain 758 million adults who cannot read or write a simple sentence in the world, two thirds of them women, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. —VNS

 

GLOSSARY

The Books for rural areas of Vietnam programme, carried out by The Center for Knowledge Assistance and Community Development (CKACD), has been awarded the 2016 UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize.

Literacy means being able to read and write.

The programme is part of a campaign to encourage reading in Việt Nam’s rural areas by bringing books to libraries and bookshelves in those areas, with an aim to motivate children to read more books and improve their general knowledge.

A campaign means a special, organised effort to do something.

 

To encourage reading means to get people to want to read and to believe that they can read.

 

Rural areas are places that are not in the towns and cities but rather in farming, forest and national park areas.

 

To motivate children to read books means to give them a reason for doing so.

 

General knowledge involves knowing about a lot of different things from plants and animals to culture and books to geography and history.

Thạch, 41, who is the founder of the Centre for Knowledge Assistance and Community Development, spent 19 years studying library design and applying library models, with his first three libraries in 2007.

Library models are different ways of organising a library. To apply them means to put them to practice.

The programme has also provided hands-on training and collaborative teamwork to operate the libraries and create activities to encourage reading.

Collaborative teamwork means working together on an activity or project.

He added that the seed was sown when he was a child and that the reading habit is cultivated in families.

A habit is something you do often and is hard to stop doing.

Cultivated means grown.

 “I want to continue my ancestors work.”

Your ancestors are your parents, your grandparents, your great grandparents and so on.

WORKSHEET

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

  1. The distance between Hà Nội to HCM City is 750 kilometres.
  2. Nguyễn Quang Thạch has taken his project to Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.
  3. Nguyễn Quang Thạch is forty-one years old.
  4. Two thirds of the people in the world who cannot read or write a simple sentence, are men.
  5. Nguyễn Quang Thạch did his big walk six years ago.

ANSWERS:

 

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2016
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. False; 2. True; 3. True; 4. False; 5. True.

 

 

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