Promoting Reading: 352 schools to celebrate National Reading Day

March 11 – With an aim to “promote the habit of reading” over 13,000 students from 352 primary schools in World Vision’s nine target provinces celebrated their first National Reading Day across the country. However, this habit will only become a reality with a long term approach to improving libraries in primary schools.

National Reading Day is a nation-wide event that will bring the joy of reading to children. It will also provide opportunity for citizens (including students, parents, and care-givers) to have dialogue with decision-makers (School Directors, Commune Councils, and teachers) on the importance of libraries for improved reading, and seek their commitment to improve the quality and standards of primary school libraries.

To coincide with National Reading Day 2016, World Vision has released a brief study on the Current Situation & Use of Primary School Libraries: A snapshot across 5 provinces of Cambodia, which suggests more focus on libraries to achieve improvements in reading and learning is needed.

The study surveyed 24 schools, across 5 provinces, against 10 government standards, in line with the “Standards for Primary School Library” (SPSL) developed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) in 2011. Just one library met all 10 standards. 58% met half of the standards, while the remainder met less than half of the standards. The limited availability of learning resources was also highlighted, with only around 25% of schools having sufficient books and reading resources according to government standards.

Dr. Jill Reimer, World Vision's Education & Life Skills Technical Lead said, “School libraries are critical for creating a favorable reading environment, and encouraging children to improve and enjoy reading – the good standards set by MoEYS in the SPSL are the current benchmark on whether a library can help foster a reading habit for children”.

Dr. Reimer continues, “While we recognise the limited scope of this study, it does give us a valuable snapshot of the current state of libraries, and where we – the Government and NGOs like World Vision – need to improve to have real impact for children. Finding only 1 library that meets the Government’s standards is concerning. World Vision plans to continue this line of enquiry to see how much these findings are representative of the nation as a whole.”

World Vision believes that the Royal Government of Cambodia and MoEYS are working hard to improve the level of literacy and numeracy of Cambodian students across the country – as evidenced by policies like SPSL, and the launch of National Reading Day 2016. However, the study shows improvements are required in library services, including ensuring schools are resourced with adequate numbers of trained librarians, and that libraries meet the standards for reading resources and quality reading activities for students.

For Complete Results of the Brief Library Study and Public Statement, please visit:

For media inquiries, please contact:

Phearun Kuch, Media Officer, World Vision

Tel: +855 17 563 520 or Email: