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25 Feb 2020

Commission X of DPRD RI: Overcome Poor Reading Interest with Literacy Movement

Pancoran, Jakarta - Chairperson of Commission X of the House of Representatives (DPR RI) Syaiful Huda assessed that the current low level of reading interest among Indonesian people can be overcome with synergy of all stakeholders through national literacy movement. "The literacy movement must be at the forefront, spearheading and prioritising programmes in the future," he said at  National Library National Coordination Meeting 2020 at Bidakara Hotel, Jakarta, Tuesday (25/02).

The low level of literacy in Indonesia is not due to people who do not want to read but rather due to lack of access that makes book a rare item, especially in remote parts of Indonesia. In fact, according to Syaiful, books are needed to create superior, intelligent, educated human resources needed to build a strong nation in the future. "Books cannot be replaced by anything," he stressed.

Syaiful also encouraged national literacy movement among members of legislative council by initiating each legislative member to donate at least 3 books each month. With 18,000 legislators at national and regional levels throughout Indonesia, it is expected that every child in all corners of Indonesia can have access to books. "This is our commitment every 17th, every council member donates a book so that children who have been struggling to find books can find and read books," he said.

Furthermore, collaboration between civil society, central and local governments and private sector also plays an important role in increasing reading interest. Syaiful said that innovation and creation are needed to make library functions more effective, not only at provincial level but also in villages and subdistricts, including revitalisation of school and university libraries. "Government becomes facilitator, we will invite collaboration of other stakeholders, state-owned companies, business people so that literacy movement will be our commitment," he explained.

Village fund can also be used for construction of libraries in villages, Syaiful mentioned that Regulation of Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration (Permendes) No. 19 of 2015 has ensured the development of libraries as a priority for village funds. "Those who are active as activists in villages, please encourage to realise our dream of having libraries in villages," he added.

Previously, research results of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 2016 showed that Indonesian reading level index was only 0.001 per cent, which is only one out of 1,000 Indonesians had high reading interest. This result placed Indonesia at the 124th position out of 187 countries in Human Development Index (HDI) assessment.

National Library National Coordination Meeting 2020 took the theme 'Innovation and Creativity of Librarians in Strengthening Literacy Index to Realise Superior Human Resources towards Advanced Indonesia', attended by at least 2,000 stakeholders both from central, local governments as well as literacy activists and library experts in Indonesia. The coordination meeting is expected to produce programme recommendations and synchronisation to increase literacy index in Indonesia.


Reportage: Ministry of Home Affairs Information Centre



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