A young Palauan boy listened attentively to the story told in Palauan language by a librarian at the Palau Public Library on November 15, 2018. The library has noted that interest in reading among young Palauans is poor hence they are making efforts to encourage the kids to read books by conducting storytelling program. (File Photo)

Drop Everything And Read (DEAR), a program to encourage reading as part of the “Innovative Learning and Excellence” theme was launched today at 9:20am in all public schools in Palau.  At 9:20AM, every student, teacher, cook and every staff of all public schools, dropped everything they were doing and read for 10 minutes.

“This is to encourage everyone to read, be it books, newspapers, or others for 10 minutes,” explained Minister of Education Sinton Soalablai. DEAR will take place every Friday and MOE plans to review the progress after three month.  “We plan to see after 3 months if we need to increase the time from 10 minutes to 25 minutes or make it a daily activity,” added Minister Soalablai.

Ministry of Education declared the year 2019 as Year of Reading as a sub-activity of this year’s national theme.  According to MOE, research have shown that reading is a vital skill in today’s world.  It increases vocabulary, develop strong analytical skills among other capacities needed to reach full potential.

“We aim to develop and establish a united effort in which teachers, parents, guardians, and community members work together to ensure that every child in our school learns to read and to love reading. To ensure quality education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all (Sustainable Development Goal 4),” states one of the goals MOE has for DEAR.

President Remengesau at the press conference this week, urged parents and guardians to make time to read to their children and grandchildren each day as one of the productive activities to do in this year of Innovative Learning and Excellence. (L.N. Reklai)