Popular Malay books on siblings Nabil and Nabilah extended to kindergarten level

Chairman of the Malay Language Learning and Promotion Committee Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim taking a wefie with pupils during a workshop on reading on Jan 30, 2019.
Chairman of the Malay Language Learning and Promotion Committee Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim taking a wefie with pupils during a workshop on reading on Jan 30, 2019.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Parents whose children take Malay in school will be able to read with them using books from the Nabil Nabilah Reader Series from as young as when they are in kindergarten, up until the end of their primary school years.

The extension to the series to promote Malay reading - which currently comprises books for Primary 1 to Primary 4 pupils - was announced on Wednesday (Jan 30) by chairman of the Malay Language Learning and Promotion Committee and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim. He was at a workshop for parents at Punggol View Primary School.

He noted that the series, which feature a pair of fictional siblings (brother Nabil and sister Nabilah) through stories set in Singapore, has gained traction among pupils, parents and teachers.

He said afterwards to reporters of the series: "It has become a platform for us to inculcate the reading habits among our children. At the same time, It opens up many more opportunities to talk about issues and things that are relevant to the lives of our children in Singapore… It looks at it from the perspective of Malay language and mother tongue. That is very important for us."

He said the learning of mother tongue was becoming more challenging with the widespread use of English and "going upstream" to Kindergarten 1 and Kindergarten 2 with the reader series would expose children to mother tongue language at an early age.

The books for K1 and K2 children, as well as Primary 5 and 6 pupils, will be rolled out by 2021. The series was first launched in 2015 for Primary 1 and 2 pupils, while books for Primary 3 and 4 were launched last year.

Each of the 175 primary schools have five sets of the books, with PDF versions available to the public on the Malay Language Learning and Promotion Committee website.

 

Mr Mus Iskandar Abdul Motalib, 40, who attended the workshop with his daughter Maisarah Rifqah, aged eight and a Primary 3 pupil at Punggol View Primary, said he and his wife read books from the Nabil Nabilah Reader Series with his daughter on weekends.

Said the assistant engineer: "The stories are more engaging, they have Singapore context. As a family unit, we can relate to the stories."

Said Maisarah Rifqah: " I like the series. They have colourful pictures and I like that I learn new words."

Mr Mus Iskandar said that with the books for younger children, it meant that he would be able to read them with his younger child, now aged four months, when he goes to kindergarten.

The PDF versions of the books can be accessed on: https://www.mllpc.sg/