How Hong Kong can get children to read more: it’s not about buying more books
I am writing in response to the Hong Kong government’s recent announcement of a HK$48 million school book funding programme.
The HK$40,000 and HK$70,000 annual book purchase subsidy will be distributed to primary and secondary schools, respectively, from the next school year, and is expected to help encourage students to read more. It will also be used to promote reading culture through different sorts of activities.
However, I do not think this plan will really be useful. Every Hong Kong school already has a library, with enough books in them for students to borrow. Just buying even more books will not be a solution, if children are not interested to read.
To get youngsters reading more, what the government needs to do is make them aware of the advantages of having a reading habit and wider interests.
I recommend that the government hold some talks at city schools where famous writers may introduce their works, to inspire students to borrow or buy more books, which in turn would help to increase their interest in reading.
Wong Man, Kwai Chung