Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — More than 7,000 primary and secondary school students in HCM City are expected to benefit from better access to English and Vietnamese books, online and multimedia facilities, and other library resources by 2020 with the launch of the second phase of the Words on Wheels mobile digital library programme yesterday.
The programme is organised by the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) and the General Sciences Library (GSL) and funded by Keppel Land Limited.
Speaking at the ceremony in HCM City, SIF Governor Lian Wee Cheow, said: “Words on Wheels is an SIF signature programme that seeks to promote the joy of reading and lifelong learning among children.”
Since its inception in Hà Nội in 2011, WoW has expanded to HCM City; Bandung and Yogyakarta in Indonesia and Jaffna in Sri Lanka.
In 2014 the SIF had launched the first edition of WoW in HCM City, and the mobile library has since benefited more than 3,000 school children, he said.
“Close to 250 Singaporean international volunteers volunteered their time and talent to make this possible.”
Bùi Xuân Đức, GSL director, said: “WoW carries out the good and basic function of a public library – of books finding readers – by organising mobile library trips to provide books and newspapers across the country.
“The children did not want to leave the mobile library van or say goodbye to the volunteer librarians during these trips.
“WoW not only feeds the hunger for information and technology, it contributes to improving skills and inspiring the passion to build a reading culture, particularly in developing good reading habits for children at a young age.”
Lian Wee Cheow said in phase two the mobile library would visit seven public schools in districts 2 and 8 by turns to positively impact over 7,000 students aged six to 15.
“Libraries and computer labs at participating schools will be refurbished to create a more conducive learning environment for students.
“An estimated 120 Singapore international volunteers will travel to HCM City over the next three years to conduct English language and IT literacy workshops, opening doors for opportunities to experience rich cross-cultural exchanges and knowledge sharing.”
The curriculum will be specially designed to cultivate students’ interest in reading and learning, while facilitating cross-cultural exchanges.
In addition, staff volunteers from Keppel Land have developed English lessons on green living and financial literacy with the aim of inculcating values on sustainability in the local community, particularly youths. — VNS