BATTAMBANG - Two communities in Battabang province have been chosen for a mobile library outreach programme to promote reading, including young children.
Brang Nhary, education manager in Phare Ponleu Selpak, explained that the mobile community library, which was introduced in 2020, is provided twice a week (Thursday and Friday).
The organisation spent around $3,000 to start the library with the help of Nomura Bank. The purpose was to create a mobile library to inspire rural children to love reading.
Speaking about their experience since 2020, Nhary said going directly to the site is a mistake as many could not write or read.
“I think to be successful, it needs the cooperation of the Phare Ponleu Selpak and community authorities as children don’t have enough [material] to learn.”
In the Chamka Samrong community, five villages are targetted, whereas six villages have been identified in the Ochar community.
“We observed that when we worked on a project [together] there was good cooperation and small children were happy to read,” she told Kiripost.
Love books than nonsense
Reading skills play an important role in a child’s growth, she said.
She observed that some family members were uncertain about how to teach their children.
Some parents advise their children to read from an early age while other families are busy with their own business, failing to realise the difficulties of not being able to read when their children are older.
“What I am saying refers to children who do not attend school or that most children are not holding books. I am here. I want to persuade parents about reading to educate their children from now on, you must love books more than nonsense,” she said.
The use of phones for small children is good and bad. The purpose of the establishment is to see the percentage of children in each village who do not attend school so that her group can mobilise them to attend school.
“We focus mostly on small children who do not attend school. The rest of the children are not yet in school. We can let them read and if they want to learn, we can send them to school,” Nhary said.
Ice cream truck
There are advantages and disadvantages to setting up small mobile libraries, she shared.
“When we arrived the first time, they [small children] were afraid, but now when they see our tuk tuk, they run directly to us. It is as if they saw an ice-cream truck. This is our success,” Nhary said.
Pisey, a villager in Chamkar Samraong village, said the mobile library has made her children love reading books. It is the first mobile library in her village.
“They love books, they like to see [books] and they write on the whiteboard. They didn’t know how to read but now they love it. When they don't understand, they come to ask us,” Pisey said.
Pisey said she wants her children to read more books. “I would advise every parent to make their children read more books, rather than play with phones.
“I just want my child to have a good education, high knowledge, and live an easy life, because I only had a little knowledge. I want him to learn more and understand,” she added.
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