DUBAI // More than 250,000 Arabic books are being donated to eight public libraries by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation to promote reading among youths.
The organisation has partnered with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development for the initiative.
It follows the foundation's 2010-2011 Arab Knowledge Report, which highlighted weak cognitive skills among 1,375 Emirati high-school pupils in Abu Dhabi and Dhabi.
Adel Rashed Alshared, the vice chairman and managing director of the foundation, said: "The lowest skills are those of writing and communication. We are doing our bit to address the issue."
The foundation hopes foreign literature that has been translated into Arabic will encourage youngsters to read, which is proven to increase written communication skills.
Sumaya Al Shehhi, an English teacher at the state-run Qubaa School in Ras Al Khaimah, said her Grade 9 pupils hate books.
"How do you prepare them for what is beyond what they see on the campus if are not interested in reading?" she asked. "We compel them to read books that they like but that, too, is a daily struggle."