By Fone Ying Kyu
YANGON, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar is making preparations to hold one more children's literary festival in Bago city in southern Bago region near the end of this month with the aim of raising the reading rate of children and youths, according to the Information Ministry sources on Friday.
Special programs such as reading competitions, innovations and games are included in the three-day festival from March 28 to 30 with knowledge exhibiting booths attached as well, Minister of Information Pe Myint told a coordination meeting for the plan in the capital of Nay Pyi Taw on Thursday.
The Children's Literary Festival, to be held at Bago University Convocation Hall, is jointly organized by the Ministry of information, the Ministry of Education and the Bago region government.
In a single month of January, two children's literature festivals took place in Sagaing city, northwestern Sagaing region, and Myitkyina city, northernmost Kachin state, aimed at nurturing children and instilling in them the love of reading.
Activities such as story-telling competition, poem reciting competition, painting competition, literature talks, debate, sports activities and entertainment programs were included.
Myanmar launched children's literature festivals in several other cities such as Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay, Mawlamyine, Taunggyi, Monywa, Pathein and Yangon in 2018.
In December 2017, Myanmar held a literary conference in Yangon, attended by over 700 writers, poets, cartoonists, publishers and international literati.
To encourage the development of literature, the Myanmar government has also been annually presenting the National Literature Awards to outstanding writers since 2001.
Children and youth literature are among the selected genres awarded which also include long and short stories, poems, belles-letters, culture and arts, translation, political literature and English-language books.
At a high level forum held in Nay Pyi Taw in January also on "Realizing Myanmar's Development Vision for Every Child", State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi stressed the strategic investment on children for the future of the country, calling for placing emphasis on the physical and mental development of children and for them to achieve their full intellectual capabilities.
Noting that Myanmar's early life development of children and development strategy was drawn up last December, Suu Kyi said not only parents and teachers but relevant departments are to coordinate for the successful implementation of the work process of the strategy.
She focused on the balanced Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP) which was drawn up in coordination with the United Nations' sustainable development goals, Myanmar's 12-point economic policy, the ASEAN economic community, the Greater Mekong Subregion strategy framework as well as implementation of various international and regional pledges made by the Myanmar government.
Suu Kyi appealed for ensuring that the plan of development partners and international organizations for Myanmar are in line with the goals and strategies of MSDP, calling on all from the government and private sectors to participate and coordinate so as to resolve the weakness and consolidate the strength of each other.