Friday, May 24, 2024
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Encouraging children reading habits

James Kon

The Hoopoe and The Simorgh, an Iranian cultural story book was launched at the International School Brunei (ISB) yesterday, in conjunction with Iran’s government week.

The book was written by the Embassy of Iran in Brunei Darussalam and the Brunei Reading and Literacy Association (ReLA), with a story adapted from the Mantiq al-Tayr, a poetry book by Attar Neishabouri – one of the greatest mystics and personalities of Iran in the 7th and 8th Centuries.

Ambassador of Iran to Brunei Darussalam Homeira Rigi Zirouki said the book offers lessons of having a goal, working hard and together while enduring difficult hardships with patience to Bruneian children.

President of ReLA Dr Malai Zeiti binti Sheikh Abdul Hamid said, “Research has found that

exposure to stories at a very young age has significantly improved interest and habits in reading. This literacy practice is not common in our society.”

She said, “It is time for the Bruneian society to play an active role in promoting reading among children as young as two years old. As they grow older however, children need to understand words are rarely encountered in spoken language. We can read to them and let them grow.

“This can be done through children‘s book, which explore new vocabulary and background knowledge.”

A live re-enactment of The Hoopoe and the Simorgh was carried out by the students of Universiti Tekonologi Brunei (UTB).

Permanent Secretary (Core Education) at the Ministry of Education Dr Shamsiah Zuraini Kanchanawati binti Haji Tajuddin and Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister and Director General for Asia-Pacific Dr Reza Zabib were the guests of honour at the event.

Ambassador of Iran to Brunei Darussalam Homeira Rigi Zirouki with Permanent Secretary (Core Education) at the Ministry of Education Dr Shamsiah Zuraini Kanchanawati binti Haji Tajuddin presenting a copy of ‘The Hoopoe and The Simorgh’ to Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister and Director General for Asia-Pacific Dr Reza Zabib
ABOVE AND BELOW: Children watching a re-enactment of ‘The Hoopoe and The Simorgh’. PHOTOS: JAMES KON

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