To ensure the goal of quality educational development also enhance children reading competency, Room to Read together with USDA and World Food Programme (WFP), brings out 10 children story books for primary school students
Room to Read (RtR)’s education project of ‘McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program’ funded by USDA and World Food Programme (WFP), recently distributed books to 135 government primary schools in Ukhia and Kutubdia, two upazilas of Cox's Bazar, aiming to achieve educational development and improved reading competency amongst children. The launching program of the books was held on April 25 at Krishibid Institute.
The secretary in charge, Ministry of Cultural Affairs Dr. Md. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal , as the chief guest and Shawkat Ali, Joint Secretary and Director, National Book Centre, Md. Ruhul Amin Khan, Joint Secretary and Project Director, School Feeding Programme in Poverty Prone Areas, Directorate of Primary Education and Rezaul Karim, Head of Programme, World Food Program graced the event.
The published books include ‘Badol o mothshokanya’, ‘Koli ar Dholir Golpo,’ ‘Bon Bohonger Kotha,’ ‘Bhuter Bari Fera,’ Chader buri o Jolpori,’Ding o Titing,’ ‘Tot-Teng,’ ‘Tatai o Jokkhobabu,’ ‘Ota Kothai,’ and ‘Alor Khoje Shomudrotara.’
The language and content of the books have been carefully selected and edited to suit the age and literacy level of the target readers. “While selecting the writers and illustrators, RtR did a rigorous investigation based on the criteria of existing children writers who also know and understand the context of the children reader,” told by Saidus Saklaen, senior program manager, Room to Read, Bangladesh. Keeping in mind about the location of book distribution, the program made sure to include writers and illustrators from ethnic minority groups.
The illustrators had to consider the young age of the readers, as well as location of the story, when choosing colours and style. “Since in ‘Badol o mothshokanya’ the location was mostly the sea beach, I have to think about how to draw the sea in different ways so that the children can get to see same thing without losing their attention,” added by Shukanya Ayin, Illustrator of ‘Badol o Mothshokanya.’
Sharing her observation on the reason behind the low literacy level amongst students in remote areas like Cox's Bazar, Rakhi Sarkar, country director, Room to Read (RtR) said, “deficiency of properly trained teachers, absence of opportunities to read age appropriate books in library as well lack of other educational equipments are the prime obstacles for primary school students in Cox's Bazar standing in the way of building their competency in learning.”
Children’s literature and a well organized library are essential to achieving standard development in education. On this note, the secretary in charge, Ministry of Cultural Affairs Dr. Md. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, said, “I believe reading habit will not only deepen their knowledge on culture, tradition and history but also keep social decay at bay. Beside textbooks, age appropriate story books are essential for a children’s proper development. However, there is a real scarcity of such books for children in Bangladesh.”
Appreciating Room to Read (RtR)’s contribution to promoting literacy and building young readers, Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal said, “RtR is working persistently in producing quality story books for Bangladeshi children.”