For Cambodia, literacy is believed to be one of the most crucial components for country’s development. However, having the ability to read and write alone is not sufficient for prosperous growth. Cambodians need to adopt reading as a habit. This hobby can lead to self-development and thus help the social and economic growth of the nation to thrive.
The government has acknowledged literacy and reading problems and has initiated social events to raise awareness and draw public attention to reading, such as a National Reading Day and book fairs. The most recent effort was the fourth Cambodian National Reading Day, which concluded in March with around 68,000 participants. Three days of collaborative events between the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport and the National Library of Cambodia aimed at captivating students’ interest in reading.
The idea is great, but it does not effectively address the root cause of Cambodians’ low reading rate. It is worth noting the clear distinction between having the ability to read and adopting the habit of reading – indeed, there is a difference between literacy and reading on a daily basis. Whether from textbooks or from novels, readers will learn something new. Children who read as a hobby will find themselves more critical, able to think faster and smarter, compared with those who don’t. The hobby will shape the way they think and make them more creative. It will also provide new information and fresh insights to readers.
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