Education Minister, Ronald Jones, peruses some of the books at today’s presentation along with principals Burnelle Bradshaw and Everton Briggs while Education Officers, Dr. Pauline Millar (centre) and Janelle Little (right) look on. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Over 300 books were today received by 10 primary schools to augment their library stock.

In handing over the materials, purchased by his Ministry, Education Minister, Ronald Jones, deemed the exercise “an important one”, noting that from time to time there was a need to replenish the resources in all schools and in particular, those at the primary level.

“Nursery is foundational but primary schools play a very important role in the development of our children, giving them the ability of course to circumnavigate the world,” he stated.

Noting that this also happened with materials produced by Barbadian authors, teachers included, he said: “We are producing literature in Barbados and I appreciate that [but] there is a lot more to be produced in whatever form – hard copy or digital format – but the important thing is the production of literature.”

The Education Minister also stressed the importance of getting children to read prolifically to the extent that they begin to appreciate printed text despite their gender and the commonplace nature of e-books.

“I would like to encourage boys to read and to read more, and encourage our girls to read so that they [all] can have avid conversations based on themes, their views of the world and to give them the opportunity to expand their knowledge. Through reading the expansion of the mind occurs,” he maintained.

Chief Education Officer, Karen Best, in commending Education Officers, Dr. Pauline Millar and Janelle Little for sourcing the materials, said it represented part of the Ministry’s thrust to ensure that reading remained a part of the everyday lives of students in our schools.

As she expressed pleasure that among the books were some specific to boys that would encourage reading, she also spoke to the use of e-books.

“I know also that there is a trend where we have e-books and persons are saying that the e-book will replace the book in your hand, the ‘live’ book, but I am hoping that that day will never come – that we will be able to have the books and feel to turn the pages and see all the pictures and have the discussions among your peers about how good this book is,” she remarked.

Education Officer with responsibility for Language Arts, Dr. Pauline Millar, stressed the books would promote and encourage reading for pleasure by building a bridge towards traditional reading material.

“These resources will form a part of traditional classroom libraries and will be used to encourage students to engage in self-selected reading,” she noted, adding that the students had earlier revealed to her their love for books with everyday problems and situations.

According to the Ministry, all primary schools will eventually receive a range of books, which include contemporary/popular adolescent material to stimulate interest including the immensely popular ‘Diary of A Wimpy Kid”, “Dork Diaries”, “Avengers” and appealing text on the World, Science, Oceans and the Human Body.

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