President U Htin Kyaw and First Lady Daw Su Su Lwin attended the opening ceremony of the Children’s Literature Festival, exhibition and book sales event in downtown Yangon yesterday morning.
The ceremony was held in Basic Education High School No. (6) Botahtaung (Saint Paul), designated as a historically significant building.
Union Minister for Information Dr. Pe Myint, a longtime advocate of children’s literature festivals, said the most recent festivals have included exhibitions and book sales so that the children can buy books they are interested in while visiting the festival and become better acquainted with books and literature.
“Children who are acquainted with books will see many books while visiting the festival and gain the habit of buying and reading books. The main aim for the children is to be happy in the books and literature circle”, Dr. Pe Myint said.
The Union Minister said the children’s literature festivals are also designed to shape the socialisation of the country’s children.
“The festival is arranged in such a way that children will interact with other children rather than enjoying something at home alone or only with their siblings. The festival is first for the children to enjoy by participating in the events and games, second to enjoy books and literature circles and the third is for children to have the habit of doing things together with other children”, said the Union Minister for Information.
The festival was held at the entrance of the school, where President U Htin Kyaw, Union Ministers Dr. Pe Myint, Dr. Myo Thein Gyi, Dr. Myint Htwe, Nai Thet Lwin and Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein cut a ceremonial ribbon.
The President, a son of the well-known Sayagyi Min Thu Wun, a member of the Myanmar literati and the author of several books of children’s literature, has shown interest in the children’s literature festivals ever since the first one was held in Nay Pyi Taw last year. U Htin Kyaw was asked to contribute to the preparation of an informational booth on his father. Books, papers and records prepared by the President were on display yesterday.
President U Htin Kyaw, First Lady Daw Su Su Lwin, Union Ministers, Yangon Region Chief Minister and party yesterday visited the Sayagyi Min Thu Wun booth as well as other booths and observed the performance by the Kyaukse Elephant Dance troupe.
During the second part of the children’s literature festival, Union Minister for Information Dr. Pe Myint delivered a speech saying that momentum is being gained in holding the children’s literature festivals. A union-level festival was first held in Nay Pyi Taw where the President led the union ministers while leaders of states and regions governments were in attendance. Later festivals were held in Mandalay, Mawlamyine, Taunggyi and Monywa and now in Yangon. The next children’s literature festival will be held in Pathein. All these are union-level festivals and at least 10 more will be held in states/regions capitals as well as district towns, said the Union Minister.
Union Minister for Education Dr. Myo Thein Gyi spoke of being honoured to hold the children’s literature festival in a school designated as a historical heritage building.
“Today’s children’s literature festival will inspire students to read, think and study more and create good inventions for human society and its surroundings while nurturing and encouraging to strive toward world peace and development,” said the Union Minister for Education.
After speeches by Union Ministers, students from basic education schools, private schools and schools for the handicapped performed dances, sang songs and played musical instruments.
Also yesterday, Technoland Computer Training Co. Managing Director U Myat Soe and Client Focus Technology Group Co. director U Aung Kyaw Moe donated five Dell computers and teaching aids, respectively, to Basic Education High School No. 6 Botahtaung (Saint Paul). The donations were accepted by school headmaster U Kyaw Kyaw Tun.
The children’s literature festival will be held until 8 January from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.