The government’s effort through the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendibud) in driving students’ interest to read in school has run well and effectively. This was due to the government policy stipulated in (Permendikbud) No. 23 of 2015 on the Development of Good Character in which every school is required to implement book reading activities 15 minutes before starting lessons, received positive responses.
This was explained by the Director for Junior High School Development of the Kemendikbud, Supriano in the discussion event ‘Nurturing Reading Culture and Improving Library Management’ that was organized by ACDP and USAID Prioritas in the Kemendikbud Library Building, Jakarta on Wednesday (12/10). According to Supriano, he has viewed and assessed all the schools visited and these schools have enthusiastically conducted the 15 minute reading program. So it is hoped that with this habituation it would become a reading culture of communities in the country.
Related to the findings which referred to the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) that on an international level test, Indonesia was still ranked low in reading skills, Supriano stated that it could be a reference to continually spur the reading interests of the Indonesian people. However, he has invited the people to remain optimistic that the interests and reading culture of the Indonesian society would continue to grow well.
In order to boost students’ interest in reading, Supriano gave an example that his party has developed Reference Junior High Schools in the regency and city levels. He explained that as many as 514 Reference Junior High Schools were provided with computer labs that would become learning centers. These reference schools will support other schools in the area and have digital libraries that would provide access to reading interest and culture.