Booklets boost literacy

2016-05-04 06:00

THE Bible Society of South Africa (BSSA) is launching its Bible-based literacy booklets in Sotho. The launch will be hosted in the Phuthaditjhaba Multi-purpose Hall on Wednesday (04/05) at 09:30.

Vusi Tshabalala, executive mayor of the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality, is expected to attend the event with Lindiwe Mabaso, acting director in the Free State Department of Education for the Thabo Mofutsanyana District.

The most important guests, however, will be 300 gr. R, gr. 1 and gr. 2 learners of various schools in Phuthaditjhaba. Each of the children will receive a set of the Sotho literacy booklets.

The literacy project comprise two booklets, My first Bible Do and Learn Book (Bibele ya ka yaTshebetso Le ho Ithuta Buka ya) and My Second Bible Do and Learn Book (Bibele ya ka ya ho Etsa Le ho Ithuta Buka ya 2) aimed at pre-primary school children and ground-phase learners (gr. R, gr. 1 and gr. 2).

Years ago the BSSA became aware of thousands of children in poorer areas who attend day-care centres, but are not exposed to literacy at all. Many of these children do not have the privilege of attending gr. R and often fall behind when in gr. 1.

When one compares these children’s circumstances to those of children from advantaged homes who are exposed to some 400 hours of literacy before they begin school, it is evident that many marginalised children begin their schooling with a backlog that is hard to overcome.

After thorough research the BSSA decided to develop Bible-based literacy material.

The programme is based on the Do and Learn Method, developed by the late educationalist Dr Rose Botha, and made available to the BSSA. These booklets engage virtually all five senses to develop basic reading and writing. Teaching is made easy through illustrations, icons, flashcards and activities such as reading, writing, numeracy, drawing and singing. The booklets are available in English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Sotho. The development of material in Zulu and Sepedi is underway.

“Not only can these booklets contribute to the reading and writing abilities of our children, but children can begin discovering the Bible, with its message of true hope, at an early age,” said Rev. Dirk Gevers, chief executive officer of the Bible Society.

Bible Society of South Africa

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