Parents urged to help kids read critically

Parents urged to help kids read critically
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, conduct a Malay storytelling session for the young readers at My Tree House National Library. Storytelling is a channel to reach out to younger readers and promote reading in an engaging and fun way.

SINGAPORE - With an array of reading material available on the Internet, parents can help their children tackle the more questionable texts by reading together with them and encouraging a healthy scepticism.

This was the advice of Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim who yesterday encouraged parents to teach their children "to read critically".

"The Government can (only) do so much," he said."We can educate them about cyber wellness, we can teach them how to ensure that whatever they are reading (is) factually correct, but I think it is parents who will have an important role to play."

Dr Yaacob was speaking to reporters after reading a Malay storybook to an audience of children at the Central Public Library.

The tale of a pigeon who rescues an ant, and is rescued by the ant in turn, was enjoyed by seven- year-old Dinah Hazirah.

"It was fun," she said.

Her favourite stories to read at home are tales of adventures and animals, according to her 40-year-old mother Mariah Bujang, a housewife.

To encourage families to read together, the library has tips for parents and recommendations of suitable books for each age, said National Library Board assistant director of reading initiatives Ian Yap.

For senior administrator Rosmin Hisom, 39, books remain a way to bond - not just by reading with her four-year-old son, but also by talking about literature tastes with her older sons, aged 15 and 16.

"We share what kind of stories we like," she said.

This article was first published on Jan 18, 2015.
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