Provincial school libraries go empty

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By Mike Puia

SCHOOL libraries in the provinces are becoming boring these days. Most children don’t go there and read up books.

This is an observation made by a Japanese volunteer, Mr Hirofuni Masui.

Hirofuni said people in the provinces, especially school children, are not used to libraries saying this is “a problem”.

“Libraries are less attractive to students. I found out in some libraries, some books are never been looked up for years,” Masui said.

Hirofuni, who arrived in the country in 2016 under the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) volunteer programme, has left to his home country yesterday.

Hirofuni spends most of his time in Buala, the provincial center of Isabel Province, supporting the Isabel Provincial Education Authority.

Since arrival, he has been visiting schools in Isabel, Malaita, Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Makira, Western and Honiara introducing the reading promotion on literacy programme.

Hirofuni uses a game call ‘bibliobattle’ to get school children visit libraries to read up books and understand the story in preparation for presentation and voting. The one who answer most question from colleagues and get more votes is the winner and is named a ‘bibliobattle champion’. In some schools, teachers offer prizes to bibliobattle champions.

He said the program he delivered is showing good results in participating schools.

“I have taught the game in most schools in the country like a hundred times,” Hirofuni, a bibliobattle champion back in Japan, said.

As part of his programme, he also sourced reading books for schools that lacks reading books.

Hirofuni said he is happy that some schools children have picked up the game and are now spending time in the library.

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