Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron urged parents and guardians to encourage their children to read as much as possible, and stop them from playing electronic games.

“This could be done by reading to your children when they are young, and vice versa,” he said at a press conference held on March 6 on preparations for the upcoming National Reading Day.

He added that many schools have banned students from playing with their phones, but it was up to parents to make sure the same rules applied in the home.

“On campus, teachers are in charge, but they cannot monitor their students’ habits at home. Therefore, I call on parents to check on their children, as playing games not only affects their studies, but can become addictive. Parents should forbid their children from playing games and guide them to reading instead,” he continued.

Chuon Naron said children learn a lot from reading. School curriculums require students to consume both Khmer and foreign literature, and parents should encourage this as much as possible.

“Families should encourage children to read, as developing a reading habit from an early age will give them a love of books. Reading is the foundation for a lifetime of learning,” he added.

The Minister said that celebrations for the upcoming 8th Reading Day, which will be held on March 11 under the theme “Reading as a Way to Revolution in the Education Sector”, will take place from the sub-national to the national level and will be held in many government institutions and their development partners.

“Each year, more and more programmes are added to the National Reading Day celebrations. Even during the lockdowns of Covid-19, we celebrated, albeit online,” he added.

Among this year’s activities will be a competition to interpret literature’s relevance to human values in the digital age. A discussion forum will be held on the value of reading and researching. The minster himself will deliver a lecture on the value of students’ learning in the context of 21st century education.

From March 10 to 12, an exhibition by more than 110 bookstores will be held on the campus of the Institute of Technology of Cambodia.

“I invite the public to bring their children to this fair. Encouraging a child to be a keen reader from an early age is important. We know that the more you read, the more you know,” said the minister.