PHNOM PENH, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Students in Cambodia wanted more books and better reading environment in the library, a survey revealed on Sunday.
The survey was conducted at 43 primary schools in nine provinces across Cambodia on the second National Reading Day on March 11 by an international organization, World Vision.
"Over 4,000 students voted for the standard they wanted most to be improved. Coming out on top with 25 percent of the vote was more amount and variety of books, followed by better reading environment with 12 percent, and conducting reading activities in the library with 10 percent of the vote," World Vision said in a press release, citing the survey result.
Jill Reimer, World Vision's Education & Life Skills Technical Lead, said that for many children, the only reading material they have was a textbook because books were considered a luxury and reading was not something people choose to take time for.
"There aren't enough appropriately written Khmer language materials for beginning readers, and many families don't understand the importance of literacy," she said.
She added that improving library facilities was one action the government could take to make it easier and more fun for students to learn and practice reading.
"We hope that local government authorities take these results seriously and commit to improving the environment for reading in their local skills," Reimer said. "The reading deficit in Cambodia has implications for the future and could ultimately affect the country's ability to compete in a global economy."
Attaining literacy for children is still a huge challenge in Cambodia. A 2012 assessment showed that only two-thirds of children in Grade Two could read with understanding.