- The “All Who Can Read Should Read” Campaign will be held at the Myanmar International Convention Centre-2 (MICC-2) in Nay Pyi Taw from 20 to 21 December with the aim of encouraging the habit of reading among the people of Myanmar and to extend the campaign over the entire country.
According to the 2014 census, the average adult literacy rate (for the 15 years and above age group) in Myanmar stood at 89.52 per cent, with 92.6 per cent literacy rate among men and 86.9 per cent among women, in 2014-15.
The government hopes to achieve a baseline target of 93 per cent by 2021.
In spite of the high literacy rate, the number of people, especially from the present generation, who love reading are significantly low.
Reading enhances knowledge. But the habit is on the decline because of the proliferation of modern information technology. Mobile smart phones provide people easy access to information on the internet and allow exchange of information through SMS messages, while the influence of TV and films is gradually seeping into individual lives.
Now is the time to think about the seriousness of this situation and think of ways to encourage our younger generation to find the time to read.
The upcoming campaign will work to stimulate the reading habit by honouring 20 most innovative libraries in the country and by conducting five discussions.
A total of 26 exhibitions and a book sales festival are also planned under the campaign.
The campaign will showcase antiques and machines which were used for writing and reading, including five types of palm-leaf writings, palm-leaf writing bundles, palm and palm leaves, parabaiks, writing materials for producing palm-leaf writings, cabinets where parabaiks were stored, inked copies of stone inscriptions, 94 books on Myanmar,
the transformation of Myanmar’s alphabet, how palm-leaf writings were produced, video recordings of the Golden Letter of King Alaungpaya, and historical records related to writings across the ages. Rare books will also be on display as part of the campaign.
The Basic Education Department’s exhibit will display a model library for children, movements aimed at children, activities conducted in children’s libraries, and more.
The Department of Historical Research and National Library’s exhibit will display old historical writings, such as the Maha Bandoola palm-leaf writing, agreements, and treaties in our history.
Reading helps gain an insight into the character, economy, society, and politics of a nation. Our youth must try to inculcate the habit.
As William Somerset Maugham said, “To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” So build a library at home.