TWENTY-NINE national primary schools in Kuala Lumpur received a boost to their Chinese language programmes recently with the contribution of Chinese reading material from the Gemilang Publishing Group.
The gift was part of the 1Malaysia Book Contribution Programme launched by Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin last week.
As explained by National Book Council of Malaysia director Dr A’ Azmi Shahri, organising book contributions to schools by companies and non-profit organisations are part of the yearly agenda of the council, which comes under the Education Ministry.
The council has so far helped arrange for similar book donations to over 20 primary and secondary schools around the nation this year.
“This programme is to help supply schools with reading material, especially rural and remote schools,” said Dr A’ Azmi in his speech during the event.
Chinese and Tamil books are also rarely available in national school libraries, which usually buy Malay and English language materials.
According to Federal Territory Education director Mohd Adenan Deraman, around 1,000 pupils in Kuala Lumpur take part in the National School Chinese Language programme (also known by its Malay acronym BCSK) every year.
Introduced in 2006, the programme allows national school pupils to take Mandarin classes in school after regular school hours.
Tamil classes are also available under the National School Tamil Language programme (also known by its Malay acronym BTSK).
Held at SK Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, the event was officiated by Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.
In his speech, Dr Wee called upon private companies to help
create a reading culture among Malaysians through contributions such as that of
“This is in line with the Prime Minister’s call to encourage private companies, including GLCs (government-linked corporations), to contribute or sponsor activities that will benefit students in our nation’s schools,” he said.
“We hope that this noble effort will help create students who are so passionate about reading that they even become addicted to books,” he added.
Speaking to reporters after the event, Dr Wee said that the BCSK and BTSK programmes will be continued and expanded.
“One of the challenges is getting qualified teachers.
“The ministry is working hard to train teachers with the proper qualifications, and also, to expand the programmes,” he said.
According to him, around 350 schools currently run the BCSK, and around 150 schools have the BTSK.
The deputy minister added: “For someone to learn a language, he must understand the culture and the origins of the language in order to learn it well.
“So I feel in this context, one very good thing is for us to inculcate the reading habit, and at the same time, help them to master the language.”
Wee also announced that the National Book Council will be organising the first-ever Children’s Book Festival in the country on Dec 22-26.
He said that the fair, to be held at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur, will have over 250 stalls to cater to visitors.
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