New library for Ekukhanyisweni Primary School

Nokubonga Tshabalala (Grade 7) and Mbali Moganyedi (Grade 5) experience the new library. Photo: Thabang Kuaho


One school in Alex will have clever little readers very soon.

The youngsters who attend Ekukhanyisweni Primary School can now improve their literacy skills after a brand-new library was donated by non-profit organisations Help2read, Breadline Africa and airline Comair.

The library came fully equipped with materials and 14 tutors to help improve the children’s reading skills.

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Breadline Africa’s director, Marion Wagner, said that 80 per cent of schools in the country did not have a functioning library and they were trying to put one where there was the greatest need.

“We partnered with organisations like Help2read who identify schools where there is the greatest need for these libraries. This will ensure that there is a culture of reading in our schools and that the libraries will be put to great use,” she said.

The 14 tutors are unemployed youth from the community and they receive a monthly stipend for their contribution towards improving the schoolchildren’s literacy. Help2read coordinator at the school, Ouma Makuwa, said tutors have been trained for the literacy programme which aims to see the young ones improving in their reading.

“Having assessed the children, they will be offered the opportunity to go to the library and choose books to read, which is another form of assessment,” Makuwa said.

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Principal Yolisa Mvunyiswa said she was excited about the donation. “As a school, we could not wait for this to happen, the learners have also shown excitement and are obviously eager to use the library,” she said.

Mvunyiswa said they have approached organisations to donate more books to the school library. “A librarian from the district office has promised to donate some books to help fill the library with material.”

Comair CEO, Erik Venter, said though the company has been involved in schools all over the province, this was the first time they had funded a library. “We used to be involved in projects such planting trees and sports fields, and when we heard about the literacy programme being run here, we thought it was a great opportunity to get involved.”

Polite Ngwenya, deputy director at Help2read, said they have been the literacy development support partner at Ekukhanyisweni for the past four years and are responsible for placing the 14 tutors at the school.

Thabang Kuaho

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