Thursday, 6 January 2011

ADB Helps Cambodia Revive "Lost Habit" Of Reading

via CAAI

PHNOM PENH, Jan 5 (Bernama) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has opened Public Information Centers in three universities in Cambodia to provide a range of knowledge resources for Cambodian people and contribute to the development of human resources in the provinces, said a press release of the ADB on Wednesday.

The Public Information Centers are part of a joint ADB/World Bank project, which the ADB officially inaugurated in late December 2010, reports China's Xinhua news agency.

According to the ADB, the three Public Information Centers are located in Kampong Cham's Western University, Siem Reap's Southeast Asia University and Preah Sihanouk's University of Management and Economics.

Each center is equipped with computers, printers, and Internet connections, and stocked with thousands of books in English and Khmer on various development issues in Cambodia and across the globe, including economic theory and statistics, social development and information on projects and other activities of development partners.

The ADB plans to open the fourth joint Public Information Center in Battambang province in early 2011, the release said.

"The Public Information Centers serve as dedicated resource hubs for knowledge sharing with the public, including students, researchers, staff from civil society organizations and government officials," Putu Kamayana, ADB Country Director, was quoted as saying.

"They provide a gateway to deepen Cambodians' knowledge on development issues, and at the same time, it will help develop human resources at the provincial level," Kamayana added.

Despite increasing literacy rates and standard of living, the habit of reading is lost in Cambodian society since the turbulent Khmer Rouge era when books became an unnecessary part of peoples' lives.

Kamayana believes that the Public Information Centers, which contain a range of updated versions of books and access to Internet resources, will stimulate the new generation to become increasingly interested in reading.

"Young people are starting to read more and more as books and the Internet have the potential to open up a new world of knowledge for them," Kamayana was quoted as saying.

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