Singapore Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim and Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, the 10th ruler of Yogyakarta, yesterday launched the Words on Wheels (WoW) mobile library programme in the Indonesian city.
The initiative is a partnership between the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) and Yogyakarta's Provincial Government Board of Library and Archives (BPAD-DIY), and aims to reach out to at least 5,000 students from 10 schools annually over the next three years.
It will also offer free access to English and Bahasa Indonesia educational materials, IT resources and learning facilities to the students four times a week.
Speaking at the launch, Dr Yaacob said it was heartening to see Singaporeans and Indonesians working closely with one another to promote learning and reading, especially among the young.
"SIF's Words on Wheels is not just a portable source of knowledge for our young, it is also a vehicle of friendship - bringing Indonesians and Singaporeans together to share ideas and cultures through their mutual love for books," he said.
According to Dr Yaacob, the latest WoW mobile library will build on the success of a similar programme in Bandung, which benefited close to 13,000 students from 15 schools in the capital of West Java.
BPAD-DIY chief Budi Wibowo yesterday welcomed the partnership with SIF, adding that it is aligned with his organisation's efforts in getting more children interested in reading and experiencing new ways of accessing knowledge.
Dr Yaacob, who has been in Indonesia on an official visit since Sunday, will be meeting Indonesia's Communication and Information Technology Minister, Mr Rudiantara, today in Jakarta, as well as tech entrepreneurs, including start-ups operating in an incubation facility launched in July by NUS Enterprise and the Salim Group.
Called Block71 Jakarta, the facility provides a platform for Singaporean and Indonesian entrepreneurs to network.