Saturday, April 20, 2013

Vietnamese read less than 1 book a year

"Vietnamese read less than one book/year" was the title of an article in VietNamNet Bridge.

Children's Education Foundation started a mobile library this academic year to help increase the love of reading and literacy amongst the children in our education programs. Initially we are taking books to all the children in our programs throughout Quang Nam and in Da Nang; most of whom live in the countryside. As we have more funding and consequently more books, they will be lent to all family relatives.

Part of the article follows which helps to give a good picture of how little reading takes place here:
"Vietnamese people read 0.8 books a year on average, said an official of the Ministry of Culture - Sports - Tourism at a press conference last week. The figure stunned the press.

Preparing for the Festival of Books and Reading Culture 2013, titled "The book that changes life," Deputy Minister Huynh Vinh Ai had a passionate speech about the importance of books at the press conference on April 12.

Another official from the Ministry, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai, released some sadly information about reading in Vietnam. According to Mai, compared to other countries in Southeast Asia, the proportion of people reading books in Vietnam is quite low. On average, Vietnamese read 0.8 book/year (less than one book). The rate at public libraries is 0.38 book/person.

Mr. Nguyen Quang Thach, who initiated the project to bring books to the countryside, said that he conducted a survey in 2011. All 253 respondents who were farmers said they did not read book. Rural children read 0.2-0.8 book/year compared to 5 books/year for urban kids."

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