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Early Literacy Important For Children And Nation, Says Rosmah | 22/03/2010
Untitled document KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 2010 (Bernama) -- Early literacy is one of the most important elements in shaping the life and future of children, the Prime Minister's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, said Monday.

She said this was important because early literacy was an imperative human capital investment that was fundamental for the nation's progress and prosperity.

"In the context of Malaysia, since independence, the government had embarked on various programmes to improve the literacy rate of our young nation as part of the nation-building strategies.

"Systematic education programmes have been put in place in order to create an information-rich society and to achieve the national literacy goal of 100 per cent literacy rate by 2020," she said in her keynote address at the official launch of the 4th International Children's Book Conference 2010, here.

Also present was Director-General of Education Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom, who is also the chairman of the National Book Council of Malaysia.

According to Unesco statistics, in 2008 more than 93 per cent of Malaysians were able to read and write, with only 1.5 million people considered as illiterate.

"This achievement could be attributed to the government's efforts in ensuring that the number of illiterate in the country's population is reduced substantially," she said.

Rosmah said literacy had been continually changing with the advent of the new modes of communication and information dissemination. New technologies presented new forms of medium such as audio books, websites, blogs, podcasts, audio streams and photo streams, she added.

"With these technologies, literacy instructions are changing rapidly and, today, children need to prepare for much more than just the traditional literacy.

"With the recent development of network information and communication technology, I feel there is a need for Malaysians, and especially children, to keep themselves abreast with these changing technologies," she said.

The two-day conference, with the theme "Children's Literacy in the Changing World", is held in conjunction with the 29th Book Fair 2010 from March 19 to 28 at the Putra World Trade Centre.

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