Students choose books from a cabinet placed under a tree in the yard of Hồ Văn Thanh Primary School in HCM City’s District 12. VNS Photo Gia Lộc
HCM CITY— Students of Hồ Văn Thanh Primary School in HCM City’s District 12 once used to huddle in a small library with only enough space for 10 of them.
Two years ago a portion of the yard in front of the library was converted into a place for students to sit and read, Phạm Thuần Châu, the school’s vice principal, told Việt Nam News.
“The yard was also not large enough and so school authorities put small cabinets with books under the trees in the yard for the students to read during breaks.”
Of the books available in the school, many have been donated by students, who passed them on after reading them, he said.
Phạm Duy Khánh, a third grader, said: “I like reading books and often read during the break.”
Châu said that the district education division had encouraged schools with small libraries to set up outdoor libraries.
In the 2014-15 academic year Kỳ Đồng Primary School in District 3 designated a 120sq.m area in its garden as a place for students to sit and read books they borrow from the library.
Concrete benches and shelves were installed in what the school has dubbed the “green library.”
Many other primary schools in the city such as Trần Hưng Đạo, Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm and Trần Văn Ơn have also created outdoor libraries.
Many schools in the city have set up ‘smart’ libraries.
In 2019-20, for instance, the Trần Đại Nghĩa High School for Gifted Students in District 1 set up one with nearly VNĐ15 billion (US$651,000) it borrowed from the city promotional programme.
The 1,000sq.m two-storey library has dozens of thousands of books and electronic books. The second floor is meant for students to read or study in groups. The library also enables teachers to use IT in their teaching.
Others such as Nguyễn Văn Trỗi Primary School and Lạc Long Quân Primary school also have electronic libraries.
Encouragement to read
At Phan Châu Trinh Primary School in Tân Phú District, small book and newspaper shelves have been installed in each classroom to encourage students to read.
Teachers introduce books to students each week.
Students at Hùng Vương Primary School in District 5 are encouraged to choose two or three times a week for compulsorily reading books. Teachers persuade every student to donate two books to create a plentiful source.
Since 2015-16 the city Department of Education and Training has been organising an annual contest titled Growth with Books to develop the reading habit among students. VNS