That Indonesians aren’t big readers is not surprising – last year, a study ranked Indonesia 60th out of 61 countries in terms of interest in reading. A big reason for this is undoubtedly the lack of access to books in many of Indonesia’s remote regions.
Coinciding with National Education Day yesterday, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced that his government is going to better facilitate the shipment of books to the country’s remote regions.
“I ask for just one day that shipping books becomes free. It was agreed earlier, for once a month,” Jokowi said, as quoted by Antara.
How it’ll work is that, once a month and at a determined date, the state-owned national postage service, PT Pos Indonesia, will waive shipping fees for book donations from the government or the public.
The books would then be received by mobile libraries operating in remote regions. Jokowi said that each mobile library should have a collection of 10,000 books.
Jokowi’s main concern is that children in remote regions should have easy access to books.
“We will connect them [with books], so that all kinds of books will be available. This is to boost children’s interest in reading and learning through books,” he said.
There are already numerous groups in Indonesia aiming to boost literacy especially among children of Indonesia’s lower class or citizens of remote regions. Check out wonderful organizations like Taman Bacaan Pelangi if you wish to help their cause by donating books or money.
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