A national pact for reading was announced today by the organizers of the first Reading Day in our country: “Reading” Foundation – Bulgaria, “Children’s Books” Foundation, “Books and Reading” Association, “Global Libraries – Bulgaria” Foundation, Bulgarian Library and Information Association, Association “Bulgarian Book”, National Center for the Book at the National Center for the Arts.
The goal of the Pact is to improve the environment in order to stimulate reading in Bulgaria.
“Bulgaria has no problem with literacy. But only in words”, reads the first sentence of the announced National Pact. According to facts set forth therein, “many children, young people and adults find it difficult to read and, in particular, to understand and make use of what they read”.
The creators of the important document are convinced that problems with the comprehension of a written text go far beyond the educational results of students and students. Functional illiteracy affects all spheres of public life and leads to deterioration of the quality of the environment. Therefore, they say, concrete action needs to be taken urgently.
First of all, four basic principles must be realized and accepted: that reading is the foundation of civil society and a guarantor of the success of democratic principles; that reading prevents the spread of misinformation and propaganda; that reading builds active individuals with their own reasoned opinion and enables them to defend it and that reading is a means of prevention against poverty.
The creators of the National Pact hope to involve not only parents, educators, paediatricians, psychologists, librarians, the academic community, book publishers, booksellers and the media, but also national and local authorities, opinion leaders, employers’ and workers’ associations, business and the non-governmental sector, media companies, foundations, social partners, trade unions and volunteers. The goal should be to develop a strategy to achieve the main goal – that all people in Bulgaria develop their literacy through reading and have access to books.
The members of the pact will outline the real infrastructure of reading in Bulgaria, connect all its subjects, generate ideas and support projects.
To begin with, work will be done on the prevention of functional illiteracy. A program to provide a book to newborns in Bulgaria, included in the package of first necessities at birth, is already under development.