In 2017, our team was approached by a group of 5 Grade 7 learners from our Loskop area. They proposed an initiative that was set to them by their teachers and principle; to highlight where they as students felt that the shortcomings were in the schooling they were receiving and what could be done to assist from a student’s perspective.
The 5 students stood up and each gave a short completely memorised oral on these findings. Every student that stood up told us about how they do not have libraries and books to read, thus limiting their abilities. They are very smart students, however, without access to reading materials, they battle with reading. They may know all the answers to exam questions set, however, are getting low marks or failing as they cannot read the exam questions and do not understand many words. As a result they cannot answer the way they know they could.
They had even researched and found out about ‘DEAR’ from Tehri principle, which stands for ‘Drop Everything And Read’, which they wanted to be able to implement as an idea before class or after class, as well as for those children who wanted to read during their tea/lunch breaks. It truly was a moving experience to see how much thought and hard work these young students had gone through to pitch this incredible initiative. They asked if Champagne Sports Resort will help them read.
They do not have fully fledged libraries and reading has become a stumbling block. The communities are poor and do not invest in books and magazines like more affluent communities. We have started a reading corner project where our staff have built 5 bookcases so far. We ask friends and families and interested businesses to sponsor books or bookcases. Our aim is for every classroom from grade 5 to 12 ( and lower for the little ones to get a better grounding) to have a reading corner or sponsor the school a full library with books. There are 33 primary and high schools in Loskop with some 35000 children attending school.
The book/reading drive is stage 1 of our journey with the local schools. Encouraging reading has opened so many other doors in tackling the poor education of our rural community and our ultimate initiative of introducing E-Learning to the schools. We hope that the E-Learning programme will make a difference in the lives of pupils who will now have equal opportunity despite circumstances to gain the knowledge through proper education, exposure to technology, be global citizens when they enter the job market and contribute towards alleviating the triple ills of society being poverty, unemployment and inequality and positively contribute to economic growth of South Africa.
The University of Pretoria – Junior Tukkies has sponsored the software for E-Learning to all 11 high schools and have committed to offering support to the teachers to bring them up to an excellent level on the subject matter. The E-learning programme consists of grade 8 & 9 English and grades 10-12 Mathematics, Physical Science and Life Orientation plus past examination papers, tutorials, Q&A etc.
Please partner with us in this wonderful initiative in helping our children read again and Ignite a love for reading. Please donate a book…..
“It is in your hands to make a better world for all who live in it” Nelson Mandela
24 May 2019
Career day workshop held in Loskop on 24 May 2019 attended by 12 high schools with 400 learners and teachers.