The Children’s Literature Festival, exhibition and book sales Yangon, jointly organized by the Ministry of Information, Ministry of Education and Yangon Region Government and held in Basic Education High School No. (6) Botahtaung (Saint Paul), kicked-off its first day yesterday morning and was packed with students, parents and interested visitors.
Booths were set up at the school entrance beneath the verandah, as well as on the upper floor of the main building and near the basketball court, including the National literati Sayagyi Min Thu Wun booth, cartoon booth, technology introduction for children booth, children literature booth, children reading room and 13 basic education school booths.
Speaking about the festival, Basic Education High School No. 5 South Okkalapa student Maung Nay Htat said, “The festival is very informative. I learnt a lot. There is a lot to learn about literature.”
The festival is not only educational and informative, but also includes games and entertainment.
Entertainment in the school compound included many games and activities, such as a merry-go-round, roundabout, dart throwing, arrow shooting, basketball, ring throwing, spring rides and inflated pools where children played.
“I’m happy, as a parent, to see this festival being held. Children viewed the displayed books and bought those that were of interest to them. The location is central, so children from all schools came. Please hold a similar festival next year, too,” said Daw Aye Aye Myint, a parent who lives in Kyaukdata Township.
Team building games were played in front of Aung Kyaw hall, as well as on the upper floor of the main building and on the playing fields.
Former Saint Paul School student U Thet Cho Win said, “Former Saint Paul School students provided free food in the morning, noon and evening. As a former student, I’m proud that this festival is being held at our school. There hadn’t been opened the Children’s Literature Festival before. I thank the officials for organizing the literature festival that includes games for fun. It shows children the importance of reading.”
Students were seen competing in Aung Kyaw hall and in the ground floor rooms, where storytelling, debates, poetry recitations, painting and paper folding (origami) competitions were held.
Former Saint Paul School student association chairman U Thein Swe said, “This school has been designated as an historical heritage building, so the festival is being managed in order that there is no effect to its heritage status. There should be this sort of festival, and those who visit it will benefit a lot. Children are seen to be weak in reading. By holding such a festival, they will become aware of literature and reading. I want them to develop the habit of reading and to gain knowledge from it. That is why this festival is being held. Another thing is the parents. Parents will have some good ideas on what sort of books their children should read. This festival is beneficial for the parents, too. Both parents and students should come to the festival. I’m happy and proud to participate in this, as a former student.”
Basic education schools, private schools and schools for the handicapped were providing entertainment in the Aung San Hall, in front of the main hall and on the football grounds. Entertainment includes puppet shows, the “Nyan Lin Htat” elephant dance, a magic show, facial paintings, caricature drawings, taking photos with cartoon figures, 3D posters, stage shows, as well as book sales.
Teacher Daw Khin Myo Min Thu of Basic Education High School No. (1) Botahtaung noted, “It is very informative for the students and youths. Unity is also achieved. Children will read more. They will also feel closer to each other and become warm and united. Because of the festival, the children will have more knowledge. They will develop in sports, ethics and morals, and I believe the country will develop. As a teacher, I hope it will be held every year. The quality and ability of the students are expected to develop.”
At the private school family entertainment stands, students from Mother’s Home, Shwepyisoe, Shwepin Shwethi, ICEC, Moe Thauk Pan, May International School, and Genius private schools entertained with dances and musical acts, while there were a numbers of book shops and food shops available, as well.
21st Century Education Development program director Ma Tinza Waing said, “This booth is jointly organized by Luyaychun Private High School and 21st Century Education Development. Model buildings and bridges were built. This will develop the minds of the students. They will be able to solve a problem with what they have in hand. They will have confidence in themselves. They’ll be able to make presentations. By arranging these booths, it will widen their views. This is the first festival held in Yangon where the teachers, parents and students are seen together, and thus it is the best festival.”
The Yangon Region Government and Information and Public Relations Department is awarding students and children who won in team building games, jig-saw puzzles, paper folding (origami), painting competitions, and others, held in the private school booths and other booths with Min Thu Wun poem books, children’s cartoon books, cartoon drawing books and exercise books.
Basic Education High School No. 2 South Okkalapa student Ma San Hta Wei added, “This festival is held so that youths like us could learn and gain knowledge. All should come. I believe that by coming, they’ll have the habit of reading. Please read. Books are our best friends. I’m proud and happy that this festival is held in Yangon.” There were about 80,000 students and teachers from schools in Yangon, together with parents and interested people, who visited the first day of Children’s Literature Festival.
By Yi Yi Myint &