To introduce world of books to children and re-establish a national culture of reading in Pakistan, a Mobile Bus Library Program has been initiated under United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Pakistan Reading Project. The mobile library is aimed at bringing age-appropriate reading materials to communities, schools which do not have established libraries in order to help re-establish reading habits.
The Assistant to the Administrator of the USAID, Donald Larry Sampler and the President of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), David Miliband officially inaugurated the Pakistan Reading Project’s mobile bus library program at a government secondary school in Islamabad.
Speaking on the occasion Larry Sampler said, “The Mobile Library Program is just one element of the USAID-funded Pakistan Reading Project which will help Pakistani children to start their own journeys in the world of books. Through this partnership between USAID, our implementing partner – the International Rescue Committee, and the Government of Pakistan, we are taking a multi-pronged approach to help increase literacy.”
The USAID-funded $165 million Pakistan Reading Project, implemented by the International Rescue Committee, is one part of a comprehensive education program that the United States implements in Pakistan in partnership with the government of Pakistan. The Reading Project would be supporting Pakistan’s provincial and regional departments of education to improve the reading skills of children. A mobile library bus would function in Sindh and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) over the next two years under the project and would bring reading materials directly to communities and help re-establish reading habits.
Trained librarians onboard each bus will conduct story-telling sessions in each community they visit. They will also issue books for schoolchildren to take home to read. David Miliband, President IRC said the project would help improve reading skills of children across Pakistan. “The mobile bus library is another step towards promoting a reading culture in Pakistan.”
USAID Mission Director Gregory Gottlieb and Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Development, Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to continue working towards improvement in the quality of education by helping to build the skills of teachers throughout Pakistan.