Book fair and prize-giving marks International School Library Month | 19 October 2019
The hall of the Caravelle House – where the Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) is located – yesterday played host to a book fair organised by the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development.
The event formed part of a series of activities held to mark the International School Library Month, which the ministry has been celebrating from October 14-18.
International School Library Month is an opportunity for those in charge of school libraries around the world to choose a day, week, or the entire month in October to celebrate the importance of school libraries and reading.
This year’s theme is ‘Let’s Imagine’.
Yesterday further saw a prize-giving ceremony for a poetry competition for Primary 2 pupils, short story competitions for Primary 3 to Primary 6 and essay competitions for secondary students, all of which were inspired by the theme ‘Let’s Imagine’.
More than 300 entries were recorded for all of these competitions.
Denzel Radegonde from La Digue primary school clinched the first prize for the P2 competition with his poem ‘Zis Mazinen’.
Meanwhile Ethan Aglae from La Misère school came out on top for the short story competition for category P3-P4 with a story he wrote about becoming the future president when he grows up.
Dwight Bamboche from Bel Eau primary school, who wrote a quite imaginative story on aliens, came out first for the P5-P6 short story competition.
As for the secondary schools, La Digue raked in both prizes with Valerie Bibi winning the essay competition for S1-S3 and Kwang-Wing Pierre for S4-S5.
All five winners were also invited to read out their individual written pieces during the ceremony.
In her speech to kick off yesterday’s event, the principal secretary for early childhood, primary and secondary education Odile De Commarmond took the opportunity to underscore the importance of reading.
“Reading exposes one to a world of imagination, showing one that nothing is impossible in this world. Different angles are explored through reading, of how things are done and how different actions can lead to different results.”
She noted how reading is now less popular than it once was due to modern technologies and gadgets which mean that children are not reading enough and adults are not encouraging them to do so.
“As a people we have to learn to strike the right balance between technology and the print based reading materials. After all, we can still enjoy reading from a gadget; countless books are now online and can be easily downloaded.”
PS De Commarmond continued by stating that libraries nonetheless remain “essential parts of the equation”, providing conducive environments for learning and reading.
In an effort to encourage schools to improve the quality of its library, PS De Commarmond announced that the ministry is launching a competition which will reward the most effective and valued school library.
The competition will start in February 2020 and is aimed at providing renewed incentive to the library service in schools and ultimately contribute in rejuvenating school libraries.
The book fair which followed the prize-giving ceremony included the participation of the Alliance Française, Seychelles Bible Society and various bookstores.
Parents, teachers and students present were able to buy books of their choice.
The accompanying photos show students and other guests viewing the books on display in the fair.