Jakarta, July 27, 2017 – Learning process can not be separated from reading activity. If a person has interest and good ability in reading, he/she will be able to absorb more knowledge from various reading sources. This is important in giving the person an opportunity to achieve a better living in the future.
According to the average national Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) conducted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2014, Indonesian children in grades 1 to 3 of primary schools were able to read 52.1 words per minute, with an understanding rate of 62.8%. In comparison, the average reading ability from the Philippines EGRA results of 2013 was 68.8 words per minute and a 74% understanding rate. For this reason, Indonesia must continue to improve children’s reading ability, especially those who are in the early grades.
As a form of support to increase the reading interest and ability of Indonesian children, Tanoto Foundation runs the Pelita Pustaka program. Activities in this program include among others supporting library activation in 265 primary schools, donation of more than 51,000 books, and training for more than 1,990 teachers in managing school libraries. In order for students to access a more diverse collection of books, Tanoto Foundation also encourages the book collection rotation system in schools located close to partner schools.
“Mr. Sukanto Tanoto and Mrs. Tinah Bingei Tanoto established Tanoto Foundation to support poverty alleviation efforts in Indonesia through three pillars, namely Education, Community Empowerment, and Quality of Life Improvement. In the field of education, we support quality improvement through capacity building of teachers in teaching, improvement of children’s interest in reading, improvement of school hygiene level, as well as keeping neat and green school environment, “said Sihol Aritonang, Chairman of the Tanoto Foundation.
“Mr. Sukanto Tanoto and Mrs. Tinah Bingei Tanoto did not have the opportunity to complete their formal education due to economic demands. However, they apply the principle of lifelong learning so as to be able to overcome the challenges that they face. Mr. Sukanto realizes that reading is the foundation of learning. He studies and gains knowledge from various reading sources, including books and magazines. Even to this day Mr. Sukanto still reads actively. ”
“In this regards, the Pelita Pustaka program is the implementation of this value. In addition, it is also an effort to encourage Indonesian children to increase their interest and ability to read and love books, “added Sihol Aritonang.
Pelita Pustaka, which is one of the components of the Education Quality Improvement (Pelita Pendidikan) program, has been implemented since 2010 in partnership with more than 265 primary schools in North Sumatra, Jambi and Riau. In the EGRA assessment of Tanoto Foundation’s partner schools in Riau recently, the average reading ability produced was 70 words per minute with a 77% understanding level. This result is better than the average reading ability of the schools in Java-Bali which is 59 words per minute and the understanding level of 78%.