South Africa: Basic Education Launches School Library Campaign in Honour of Mandela Month, 21 and 22 Jul


Reading with understanding and enjoyment is so important in education if we want to be truly globally competitive, not only does reading improve knowledge but it also fuels imagination, creativity and innovation.

It is for this reason that after recently celebrating International Nelson Mandela day this past weekend the Department of Basic Education (DBE) is launching a reading and book flood campaign in honour of Tata Madiba’s legacy and passion for education and we are calling on all South Africans to join us.

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela day is about paving the way to a better future and what better way than through education.

The Department of Basic Education intends to use this opportunity presented by the 2015 Nelson Mandela International Day to mobilise resources and support from various sectors of society around the enormous task of improving the educational experience for underprivileged children through the provision of a 1000 school Libraries campaign.

Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga announced in the Education Budget Speech on 6 May 2015 that one of the key priorities of the department is the focus on Reading Promotion and provision of Library and Information Services. There are planned activities aimed at Getting the Nation to Read and to stimulate its implementation.

Libraries are seen as a key lever in education achievements because they provide access to reading materials, space for reading and pursuance of literacy endeavours. Libraries are essential to the promotion of reading and almost critical to the improvement of literacy. We are making a call to action to all different sectors of society to partner with us in making this a reality.

The DBE hosted the Ministerial Breakfast on 2 July 2015, to give impetus to the 1000 School Library Campaign and Mandela Month reading events. The Minister of Basic Education has also held provincial roadshows to promote the National Reading Campaign.

The National Reading Campaign gives effect to the many reading promotion and library provisioning initiatives which include, amongst others, the refurbishment of at least 1000 school libraries per annum, the implementation of reading programmes, the involvement of communities in promoting reading. These includes the provision of various models of libraries like trolley libraries and 18 new school libraries as well as the provision of human resources through a programme with a bias for the youth.

Minister Angie Motshekga will officially launch and handover a newly-built library on Wednesday at Uvuyo Primary School in Mofolo North in Soweto. This event will also be used as a launch for the 1000 libraries campaign.

The Deputy Minister of Basic Education Enver Surty will hand-over the school Library at Pitseng Primary School on Wednesday, 21 July 2015. The school library has been completely overhauled and the shell of the existing building will be reused. The school has a total enrolment of 840 learners and it runs from Grade R to 7.

The library at Pitseng Primary is the 14th to be handed over through a partnership between Imperial Holdings and Ukhamba Community Development Trust. The Imperial Ukhamba Community Development Trust was established in January 2005 by Imperial Holdings and to date they have established 13 libraries and resource centres.

The importance of the role of libraries and reading in academic achievement cannot be overemphasised. There is evidence from literacy studies on reading achievement thus the commitment and changes that have been implemented by the Department of Basic Education.

Members of the media are invited to attend the Mandela Day Activities as follows:

Mandela Day at Pitseng Primary School in Zone 10, Sebokeng, Gauteng:

Date: Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Time: 14h00

Venue: Pitseng Primary School, 1261 Zone 10 Sebokeng, Vereeniging, Gauteng

Mandela Day at Uvuyo Primary School in Mofolo North, Soweto, Gauteng:

Date: Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Time: 8h00

Venue: Uvuyo Primary School, Mofolo North, Soweto, Gauteng

Issued by: Department of Basic Education

Written by PH

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