Parental involvement ‘critical part of child’s development

The primary school students with the children's book launched by education minister yesterday. Picture: RAMA

Parents are rarely taking the time to read with their children, says Education Minister Premila Kumar.

She said this while speaking at the launch of 10 books on oceans and inclusive climate action which will be available in English, iTaukei and the Fiji Hindi languages.

Mrs Kumar said parental involvement was a critical part of a child’s development.

“We have seen that the children of this era, they grow with little devices put next to their ears to hear the various rhymes or, it is turned on for them to have a look at some of the illustrations or poems or lullabies just to see and watch,” she said.

“And that’s how they grow up with these devices.”

She said gone were the days when parents had to read a book – or the children had to read a book.

“Parents had to sign off saying that yes, my child has read a book and that particular form had to go to school and the teachers would cite those forms and then make the child write a paragraph of what he or she has read.

“We don’t see that happening around us. And the question or the challenge is how do we change that and get our parents and particularly Year 1 to Year 3, including early childhood education teachers encourage students to read.”

She said books were catalysts to drive a child’s creativity and imagination.

The 10 books which will be distributed to 700 schools throughout Fiji were published by the Asia Foundation.

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