Hong Kong’s revival of book subsidy to schools highlights commitment to reading culture
I welcome the Hong Kong government’s revival of its book subsidy to schools to have pupils read more (“Hong Kong government launches HK$48 million school book funding programme”, April 17).
This move is timely, given that Hong Kong has lost its leading position in international reading literacy, dropping to third place behind Russia and Singapore in 2016.
But even if we see it as still a high ranking, that does not necessarily imply that Hong Kong people have a great interest in reading.
I believe everyone understands the advantages of reading. However, it is still hard to inspire the willingness to read. The advent of smartphones and tablets has encouraged people to play online games rather than reading in their leisure time. Moreover, given their busy daily schedules, students and general workers have hardly any time to spare on recreational or meaningful reading.
Whether the Hong Kong government’s move to subsidise primary and secondary schools in purchasing new books, amounting to HK$40,000 and HK$70,000 a year respectively, will succeed in increasing public interest in reading remains to be seen. But it definitely highlights the government’s welcome determination to promote the reading culture in Hong Kong.
Zoe Liu, Kwai Chung