PRME Corner October Update: Reaching the Dreams with Bandung Membaca Program

image prme okt 18The urgency of reading has moved many people in various parts of the world to practice it throughout the year. The average American community can read 20 books a year. While Japanese people can reach 10 books per year, and neighboring countries in ASEAN devour 2-3 books per year. Unfortunately, in Indonesia, the public reading culture only ranges from 0 to 1 book per year.

UNESCO research in 2012 found that Indonesia’s reading interest index was only 0.001 percent. This means that out of 1,000 residents there is only one person who likes to read. Meanwhile, based on the Most Literate Nation in the World study conducted by Central Connecticut State University in March 2016, Indonesia was ranked 60th out of 61 countries about reading interest. Only a level above Bostwana (61).

The low interest and reading culture of Indonesian society is a shared responsibility. Therefore, all elements of the nation starting from the government, educational institutions ranging from families to schools, the private sector, social institutions, communities, and society at large, must move together and share roles in order to foster reading interest and literacy culture in Indonesia. Reading interest in the city of Bandung itself is not high enough even though it is better than the Indonesian community as a whole. Of the 2.3 million residents of the city of Bandung, only 10% have an interest in reading. The low interest in reading or literacy is caused by limited access to books, many areas do not have libraries and bookstores, and reading habits are not established in school. The difficulty of obtaining A book actually encouraged the proliferation of initiatives from the community to open reading parks, mobile libraries, or reading (and writing) communities that were free to be widely used.

Regarding this situation, several Management’s students (2020) which are Raelis Wibisono, Jeremy Owen, Bimo Priambudi and Muhammad Reihan create the activity that can raise the awareness for all civitas to give impact for better quality education in Bandung. The background of this program was to provide opportunity for unfortunate children, due to the lack facilities like library or books at their schools/homes to be able to access information and widen their knowledge. To support this activity PRME SBM ITB inviting all the civitas to join the program by donating the unused books for children or others who may need them. PRME SBM ITB encouraged civitas to donate books for around 6 months. Through this effort we managed to collect more than 50 books then we sorted and distributed them to elementary schools around Bandung.
Figure 1: Bandung Membaca Program and the books donation

The result of the donation was distributed to Rumah Mimpi that focuses on providing assistance and education in the form of knowledge and skills for unfortunate children. Guidance assistance for children is intended so that in the future, unfortunate children have the opportunity to live better. Rumah Mimpi invites people from various backgrounds and scientific disciplines, both personal and community to participate for developing better Indonesian children. We are optimistic that this program could help reaching the unfortunate children’s dreams. Bandung Membaca Program will be routinely running as a PRME SBM ITB’s social responsibility towards the community. We believe that consistently doing this program will increase children’s motivation and interests in reading, especially in Bandung area.

Figure 2: SBM ITB students distribute the books donation to Rumah Mimpi

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