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Annual National Reading Day event to be held virtually

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Students at the National Reading Day event in Phnom Penh last year. Photo supplied

Annual National Reading Day event to be held virtually

Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron called on students and all book lovers to celebrate Cambodia’s National Reading Day on March 11.

Due to Covid-19, festivities will be held online this year during Book Week. Naron said that those interested will be able to find discount deals on books and get the opportunity to gain a lot of knowledge from experts.

The education ministry announced on March 9 that this national reading day – the sixth annual day so designated – would have the theme of “reading in the context of Covid-19”.

To celebrate National Reading Day and Book Week while also abiding by the government’s Covid-19 preventive measures, the ministry will organize online activities for six days from March 9-14.

In remarks prepared for the occasion of the opening of book week, Naron said “I appeal to all pupils, students and readers to seek out and buy good books to read and join our online discussions, which will be broadcast live all throughout book week. This can increase their knowledge and skills and give them some of the [wisdom] necessary to succeed in life and society.”

The ministry said that national reading day and book week consists of important events such as reading contests, poetry readings, and a writing contest – with the winners all receiving Samdech Hun Sen Awards.

Also to be included in the events are presentations about the Khmer literature and language from the middle period based on the Nokor Wat stone inscriptions, a lecture on the value of Reamker literature in Cambodian society, a conference discussing the primary school library situation presently in Cambodia and a talk on the connection between libraries and early reading.

Book Week is organized to promote reading and the development of a literary culture in Cambodia, as well as to promote the publishing industry here.

“While we continue to battle Covid-19, this online book week is a vital resource for students and readers to participate in a cultural activity that is about literature and where they can learn about new authors and books,” Naron said.

The ministry is also organizing online discussions on Zoom focused on three different themes including: Reading and Youth, Reading and Life, and Reading and Children.

These discussions will be joined by writers, readers, scholars, teachers and the parents of students.

Students and readers can get more information about reading day and book week from the official Facebook page of the Cambodia Book Fair, Publishing Distribution House page or the page of the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport.

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