PCE launches Reading Project for Mindspace Development.
Coinciding with the auspicious 65thBirth Anniversary of the beloved Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck on 11thNovember, 2020, Paro College of Education launched Rig-Dzoed De-Mig: A Reading Project for Mindspace Development. The 5-year reading project is anchored on the belief that a well-read teacher can inspire students to cultivate lifelong reading habits and keep their minds open, wide and spacious.
The project will develop reading habits in the first year students right from the start of their four-year study at the college. Students will be provided with equitable opportunities for access to books. They will be guided through various strategies that the project has planned. Reading Mentors are assigned for 3 respective classes to develop a positive outlook and love for books. The project is not to force anyone to read but to provide real inspiration and atmosphere by engaging in conversations and sharing experiences about reading.
Dr. Dorji Thinley, PCE President, emphasized the sheer importance of developing students’ reading habits from an early stage. He stressed that reading habit ‘is not episodic, it is not a gimmick nor it is an event to prove something. It has to be cultivated deliberately, intentionally, and one must have commitment to empower oneself ’. In this process, students need to be supported and guided well. Thus, this project will promote sustained reading habits in every student’s life. He said the five-year Reading Project for Mindspace Development is “not a quick-fix that merely looks at the symptoms of a problem. Instead, it will address the root causes of the rather painful phenomenon of dwindling reading habits in schools and colleges”.
Introducing the reading programme, Assistant Lecturers Chimi Dema, Pema Yangzom and Ms. Tenzin C. Lekphell shared their experiences of reading and what reading has meant to them. They emphasized the indispensability of reading as a habit in the life of a teacher.
The strategy laid out in the project is multi-pronged, which include continuous development of library resources and proving access to the best books available in the market, conducting reading habit surveys each year for every new cohort of students and setting up interventions, appointing reading mentors for groups of students, sustained faculty support, exposure to bookshops and book events, book talks and conversations, emphasizing the importance of cultivating reading habits and enrichment of life duringstudent orientation programmes beginning of each year.
The project is anchored on the belief that reading will empower and inspire students to cultivate sustained habits of learning that help to shape open, creative, and positively engaged minds. It will instill in future teachers self-confidence, courage, and inner self-sufficiency.