“A Reading Nation is a Winning Nation”, was the theme of the first round table discussion held by the Department of Basic Education in 2015; when Minister Angie Motshekga posed a country wide challenge as a response to the poor literacy levels within primary and high
schools’ in South Africa.
According to a survey conducted by Statistics South Africa, “Just over three million South Africans remain illiterate and the largest challenge facing our country is that children enter the school system already behind the benchmark of reading development. They are then playing catch-up throughout their school careers – and their lives. They are never able to close this gap.”
MANCOSA, took up the challenge and partnered with The Department of Basic Education and non-profit organisation New Africa Education Foundation represented by Ahmed Motala; to distribute 30 mobile libraries to deserving primary schools’ country wide. The last month has been a hive of activity, with excited learners at schools in Cape Town, KZN, Limpopo, Pretoria and Johannesburg, receiving their innovative mobile libraries which can be wheeled from one classroom to another.
“It is critical as one of the leading Higher Educational Institutions within South Africa that MANCOSA contributes and continues to ensure that the youth are exposed to reading at an early age as reading is the foundation of building a strong nation” said founder and Principal of MANCOSA Professor Yusuf Karodia. “By increasing literacy levels at an early age many major factors affecting the country as a whole; such as the low employment levels; have the opportunity to improve” added MANCOSA Project Director Abdulla Sardiwalla.
Principals’ from all the schools expressed their heartfelt appreciation to MANCOSA for contributing such a valuable tool aimed at enhancing the quality of education which they provide to the leaders of tomorrow.
Louis Taylor, Director for Partnerships in Education at the Department of Basic Education praised MANCOSA for this initiative and urged all South Africans to come on board. “We need to give books as gifts, we need to read to our children and get them to read to us. This cannot be done in schools alone we need to read in our homes as well,” said Taylor MANCOSA aims to continue the literacy project throughout 2019 and is committed to Nurturing a Culture of reading in our Schools.