A CAMPAIGN to encourage students to read more, kicked off at the Hongkong and Kowloon Chiu Chow Public Association Ma Chung Sum Secondary School on Monday. The inaugural ''Chinese Week'', which concludes today was organised by the Chinese Language and Chinese History Society with the Mathematics Society. Speaking to Young Post after the opening ceremony, teacher-in-charge of the programme, Mr Chong Yun-cheung, said that nowadays, Hongkong pupils seemed to have less interest in reading. ''It is understandable because in our hi-tech society, students tend to accept knowledge through audio-visual facilities rather than books,'' he explained. Mr Chong believed that this attitude would lower the standard of Chinese among Hongkong students. ''Reading can help them widen their horizons and improve their creativity and, of course, their ability in writing, reading and speaking in Chinese.'' According to a recent schools' survey, only one in seven students is interested in reading books outside the school curriculum. Mr Chong said the campaign was intended to stimulate interest in the Chinese language and show that learning the language could be fun. He added that it could also increase a sense of belonging to the school. Highlights of the week included a book exhibition, computer game, film and lantern riddle quiz and was open to students at lunch time and after school. About 200 books were displayed aimed at promoting better reading habits. A variety of books catered to every taste and included detective and romantic novels, comics books, books on films and some on computer skills. Form 4 student Cheung Sin-tung, who bought several books, said she enjoyed reading detective novels. ''These stories are most interesting and exciting,'' she said. ''You do not find out the result of the story until the last page,'' said the avid reader, who built up an interest in reading such books while in primary school. The Chinese Language and Chinese History Society chairman, sixth-former Lai Yan-chi, said: ''This is a good way to introduce students to a variety of reading materials.'' To introduce the students to Chinese computers, there was a computer game to test their ability to use Chinese characters, vocabulary and idioms. During the week-long programme prizes, including computer software, were given to the students, said Yan-chi. She said the programme was the result of the combined efforts of seven committee members, adding they had prepared for it for two months.