New Guideline Seeks to Promote Reading in Children
China wants its minors to read more.
The Ministry of Education, along with seven other government departments, rolled out a guideline Monday encouraging extracurricular reading for primary and middle school students. Authorities aim to “lay a strong enough foundation” for young readers to develop a lifelong reading habit.
The ministry said that it will publish a list of recommended books for young readers every two years. The new guideline also added that teenagers should read “a broader and more balanced” range of topics, encouraging high school students to read more books on health, law, and history.
“There should be more national patriotic reading activities to guide the young from childhood,” the guideline said.
The percentage of minors who read has seen an increase from 76.1% to 83.9% in the past nine years, domestic media reported, citing data from the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication. The average number of books young people read also rose from 6.97 books annually in 2013 to 10.93 books in 2021.
The ministry also recommended that local governments and schools host reading events, reading activities with parents, as well as events with authors to promote reading among children. Reading, however, should be promoted as an interest and not add an academic burden on students.
“Schools should emphasize and advocate reading among students,” the guideline said. “Meanwhile, schools should strictly control the total amount of written homework so that there are still opportunities for students to read, and provide reading activities during schools’ after-school activities.”
Editor: Bibek Bhandari.
(Header image: VCG)