LEBAK, BANTEN – Anies Baswedan, Minister of Education and Culture (Mendikbud), said reading needs to be developed in the school environment to realize the intention of Ministerial Regulation No.23 of 2015 pertaining to the building of character (31/3). "All schools should start with fifteen minutes of reading before the lessons begin. We want reading to become a habit so that a reading culture develops," he said at the launch of the Indonesia Reading Movement held on the campus of La Tansa Mashiro in Rangkasbitung, Lebak District. "The launch of this movement is meaningless if there is no process for turning reading into a habit. Let us increase interest in reading and literacy!"
At the event, to support the procurement of reading books in Lebak, USAID PRIORITAS handed over a grant of leveled reading books to the Head of Lebak district, Iti Octavia Jayabaya. Anies Baswedan also visited exhibitions of students' work and had a dialogue with representatives of teachers and students who gave testimony about the implementation of the literacy movement in their schools. USAID PRIORITAS participated in the exhibition by displaying the work of students and teachers on the development of a literacy program in its partner schools.
Chantika, a student from SMPN 3 Rangkasbitung, explained enthusiastically about the books written by students that were on display. "Reading does not just increase our knowledge but it also stimulates our imagination to help us write short stories like the ones compiled in this book," said Chantika, showing a book published by the school to the Education Minister. (Anl)