Encouraging Reading Habits Among Primary Schools In Malaysia

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Primary schools in Malaysia are known as the early education for everyone. It is the place where the first alphabet is made known, the first digit is being calculated. Starting at primary school, reading is important in order to develop the knowledge and as a good practice for learning process. At the early stage of reading, pupils normally relate reading and books with library. They seldom see resource center at their school functioning similar as library, but instead, they know that library is a quiet place to do reading, which they can be full of imagination on the chronology of the story they read. When talking about library, first thing pupils know is that, books and a place to read books and gain knowledge. There is nothing much they understand about library rather than reading. It is important to get the chance of understanding of library is much more on reading and as the appropriate place to read because it is a quiet place so that the reading habit can be naturally develop since they are young.

Developing reading habit among primary school has always been an important educational priority to enhancing reading habit so that the pupils can gain knowledge and information through their reading. As in this part, encouraging the pupils to make full use of library is important. At this stage, they might not know what are the types of libraries offered in the country, but the best way for them to learn about library is that by teaching them to make full use of library.

Definition

Primary school in Malaysia is a compulsory for every child when they reached the age of seven (7) years old. [1] Primary school education is the first level of formal learning, which provides a foundation for life-long learning. The Ministry of Education has established a curriculum standardized (Malay version only) to ensure that core subjects are given due emphasis.

Public Library

Public Library is a nonprofit institution which is maintained for the public. It provides a collection of literary works that are kept for reference. [2] A public library is an organization established, supported and funded by the community, either through local, regional or national government or through some other form of community organization. Public library is the key access to knowledge, information and works through the resources and services it provides and makes it available to all members of the community.

Developing Reading Habit

The hardest thing to do is start implementing or developing the habit among pupils. At the early age of four (4) to five (5) years old the children are more attracted to games and other attraction which can entertain them. At this early stage, children brains' must be develop and stimulate so that they can engage actively in learning and education. By developing the reading habit among the pupils it can help a lot in improving their effectiveness in early educational level. Parents should plays their role in inspiring their children by reading and deliver the knowledge because children are likely to react accordingly to what are their parents gives them. The children should grow with books when they reach early age that they can react through what are taught by their parents. Proper reading materials should be suitable must be made available at home so that the children used to know books and their function as information packages. To raise the reading habit, there are some of the tips that can be use such as;

Let your child see you read.

Share information from your own reading with your child.

Read aloud.

Read the newspaper as a family

As a family, act out favorite scenes from a book.

Take books with you wherever you go.

Subscribe to children's magazines

Make library visits a family routine

Watch for a special bookstore presentations

Tie movies or television into the books that they are based on.

Try books on tape

Allow pre-reader to "tell the story" from the pictures

Have children retell favorite stories

Connect stories to children's lives

Create silly rhymes and poems together

Make connections between books of similar topics

Provide an inviting environment for reading

Relax and have fun with your children and books

(Source from 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Raise a Child Who Loves to Read by Kathy A. Zahler)

Proper approach at school also can help develop the reading habit among the pupils. Teachers must know how to approach the pupils to read and encourage them in reading. At school, teacher can encourage their pupils to read by providing them with books in every classroom. As in Malaysian environment today, most of the primary school will practically take five minutes before started the class by reading. This will helps the pupils to develop their reading skills because they can just directly ask their teacher about words that they do not understand or when they found a word that are new to them.

Integrating Readings and Public Library

Reading and library is very synonym to each other. Normally, when it talks about reading, library is the best way to describe the materials and the sources needed. Public Library plays important roles in providing sources to the public especially for the young readers like the primary schools pupils, they are made familiar with the functions of Public Library. It also can be define as resources and services provider in variety of information. Professionally, Public Library have important role in developing and maintaining the society by giving access to variety of information and knowledge. As at the primary schools levels, Public Library provides variety of information in various formats such as books and electronic materials.

Public Library as an educator

By providing various of information, Public Library also acts as an educator especially in serving the children among the primary schools. Most of the Public Libraries provide corners for the pupils to have their own space to read and the space are decorated appropriately according to the reading environment to attract the pupils and to help them to focus in reading. [3] Sabah State Library, Malaysia provides electronic corners in its libraries. There are one-stop sources of information and entertainment, which can access the Internet, a wide variety of CD-ROMS.

It also supports formal and informal learning which provide these children with learning resources and providing facilities to encourage them to read. At the early stage, pupils can learn to make full use of the library effectively and without realizing that it also slowly can helps in developing reading habits among the pupils.

Public Library as an information provider

Pupils almost must know that Public Library is acting as the information provider. They can find every information they need at the library. At the earlier age, it is good to teach the pupils with the variety of information provided by the public library. It has the roles in providing collecting, organizing information and makes it available for the children. Public Library also keeps materials, collecting and conserving material that can helps the pupils in their readings.

Public Library as social role

It provides role as meeting place. By making the Public Library as social role, pupils can share the information and knowledge with their friends that they met at the library. Children are easy to make new friends, so it would be better if they can share the materials they had among each other's and it will help a lot in developing their brain. Instead of going to formal class and meeting friends, pupils also can make new friends where they can make an informal contact with others children at their same age.

Conclusion

Encouraging reading habit among the pupils at primary school levels need psychological approaches. Pupils, especially the children are not likely wanted to be forced and treated to read. Parents should know how to influence their children and develop them with the reading habit since they are younger. Public Library provides lots of books can encourage the pupils to read by giving them interesting books with illustrations so that it can helps the pupils not to just involve in the formal education, but also informal education. It is also important to teach the children about the Public Library and the interesting activities provided for the pupils at primary school.

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