|The Miracle Libraries of South Korea|
The morning session had Dr. Amorn Nakontharp and Dr. Banjalug Namfa speak of 21st century learning. Dr. Amorn focused his talk on teachers and the demands of sound pedagogy that is applicable for learning and living in the 21st century. He emphasized the new skills that students need to develop to succeed in teh 21st century, but also, staying true in practice of the basic reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. His message to parents, teachers and school librarians: Play games with your children; tell stories to them; engage them in conversation; listen and see how your children think and process information.
|With Asarin and Tuktak of TK Park who both took care of me|
I have always known the ASEAN as an organization of Southeast Asian nations that discuss political, economic and social development in the region. To hear Dr. Banjalug talk about the five principles of the ASEAN made me realize that the organization is deeply concerned with the development of its people towards the future of the region. The five principles are:
1. Knowing ASEAN.
2. Valuing Identity & Diversity.
3. Connecting local and global.
4. Promoting Equality and Justice.
5. Working together for a sustainable future.
|Speakers and TK Park staff all together in this photo at the end of the conference|
That is why, in the panel, one topic tackled the empowerment of children for the ASEAN future. The five of us speakers pointed out the relevance of family and community in raising children grow in their potentials. Many best practices in reading and literacy development had been presented and these are examples of projects that support families in rearing children who are aware of their culture, history, nationality and tolerant of other peoples. Mr. Chan Soo Ahn, director of Citizen Action for Reading Culture in Korea is involved library development to promote peace and understanding. A non-government organization, Citizen Action for Reading Culture has established ten libraries with one new library in the process of establishment.
|With a new friend, Zubaidah Mohsen of Singapore, National Library|
The TK Park Conference on Reading 2012, had been a success as it achieved its objectives. But, to truly empower children for the ASEAN future, continuous re-evaluation of paradigms and practices in education, knowledge creation, library systems and structures need to take place in the Southeast Asian countries. I am starting with my own family, my children, in making them realize that unique as they are, they are not alone in the world. There are so many things to learn from others that if they seclude themselves in their own circle, they will become stagnant and their knowledge, stale. As I said in the panel as my closing remark, it is important that we all become lifelong learners. Lifelong learning is not merely a set of skills but a philosophy.