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Hà Nội teacher honoured for encouraging students to read

Update: November, 16/2021 - 07:53
Phạm Thị Hệ Ngân (centre) reads books with her students in class 5A3, of Thanh Xuân Primary School in Thanh Xuân District, Hà Nội.— Photo

HÀ NỘI — Phạm Thị Hệ Ngân, who teaches at Thanh Xuân Primary School in Thanh Xuân District, has been named 'Hà Nội’s most enthusiastic and creative teacher'. 

Ngân was given the award for her contribution to building a happy school in the 2020-21 school year, and especially for encouraging her students to read. 

Ngân set up a bookshelf in class to encourage her students to get into the habit of reading, rather than spending time on social media such as Facebook, Zalo, Tiktok or Youtube.

At first, she filled the bookshelf with books she bought, she said.

The books were selected to suit the age of her students, with titles including Captain Sinbad, Doraemon, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel, she said.

Ngân told her students that “These books are for all of you to explore.”

At first, Ngân spent 15 minutes reading to her students before nap time every day.

Ngân applied Scheherazade's method in “One Thousand and One Nights” – she only read a part of the story each day and always stopped at the most thrilling and interesting part.

“The students will have to take advantage of their spare time to read the next part of the story or wait until the next day to listen to the rest,” she said.

At first, only some students went to find the book on the bookshelf to read the next part. Later, many of them wanted to read the book, she said.

“I’m very happy when hearing the voices of the students talking with each other at the bookshelf about these books,” she added.

“Because I know they are starting to be interested in books,” she said.

Getting more books

Ngân said she continued thinking of how to get more books for her students so that they would enjoy reading more.

She borrowed books from the school’s library, she said.

Parents of students, who knew Ngân was trying to encourage reading, gave books to support the cause, she said.

When Ngân got more books than she expected, the bookshelf grew.

A bookshelf in class 5A3, of Thanh Xuân Primary School.— Photo

Sometimes, several students wanted to read the same book at the same time.

To fix the issue, Ngân had to assign a student as a library manager. Each student was given a card to borrow books from the bookshelf.

“Whoever borrows first, reads first,” she said.

After one school year, Ngân’s students loved reading thanks to the habit of reading books every day.

Thanks to reading, some students could confidently present their ideas and act as a host for activities, she said.

Lê Thị Kim Dung, a mother of a student in class 5A3, said: “I feel happy and thankful for Ngân after I learned she was trying to make a habit of reading more books for my son and his classmates.”

Phùng Thị Khanh, a mother of another student, said this was an activity bringing long-term value, reading books would help children expand their knowledge.

Nguyễn Thị Quỳnh Như, principal of the school, said: “I highly appreciate Ngân’s efforts and enthusiasm.”

The efforts helped increase the interest in reading among students, she added.

Như said after seeing the positive results from Ngân’s model, the school encouraged all classes to apply the model in order to help more students form reading habits.

Lazy to read

According to a survey conducted in 2019 by the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (ISEE), when asked what is the main thing they do in their spare time, 41.7 per cent of Vietnamese youngsters say they are online, 20 per cent of youngsters say they watch movies and only 15 per cent of youngsters said they read books.

Having no time is believed to be one of the main excuses. Another excuse is that reading books has no interaction, so young people feel bored.

Data from the Publication, Printing and Distribution Department under the Ministry of Information and Communications showed that on average, a Vietnamese person only reads 4.13 books each year. In the meantime, a Malaysian person reads 17 books each year.

The department also said according to a recent survey, in the top 61 countries that read the most books in the world, there are three Southeast Asian countries - Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Việt Nam is not included in the list. — VNS



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