Mobile library to rekindle reading

2017-01-24 06:01

Ned Doman High School in Athlone has been given a mobile library.

The deputy minister of basic education, Enver Surty, visited the school on Tuesday for a school readiness inspection.

The visit was part of the department’s #schoolreadiness campaign, but Surty also handed over a mobile library to the school during his time there.

“The mobile library is a cabinet almost the size of a deep freezer that closes in a vertical way. You can place books inside, close it, lock it and push it around to the different classes,” says principal Gwynne Philander.

The benefit of this library is to provide a small selection a teacher may need his learners to read from to understand the subject matter he is teaching, he adds.

“The child does not have to come to the library and be overwhelmed by the various options. They have a more narrowed down range of books which they can work with,” says Philander.

During his visit, Surty also shared his views on modern education and acknowledged the school for its outstanding achievements in the recent matric examinations. Ned Doman achieved a 100% pass rate and increased its Bachelor pass rate. Surty also expressed his satisfaction that hospitality is offered as a subject at the school, increasing skill-based learning.

“Many of our learners are very competent at skills and often we disadvantage kids by suggesting that only academics is the need for the country. We do need many skills-based programmes. Ned Doman is one of a few schools in the city’s central area to offer hospitality as a subject. [Surty] further expressed his appreciation that we offer isi­Xhosa as a home language and as an option for our learners to ensure that children are able to have one subject for which they have expertise in their mother tongue,” says Philander.

Surty addressed the learners, reminding them of the school’s vision of “responsible, respectful individuals with a strong sense of identity”.

While learners are increasingly using the internet as a learning aid, Philander feels libraries and books still play major roles in the learning evolution of a learner.

“We have had some learners using the library last year, but that was very few. We need more learners and we need a greater range of topics of interest. With the onslaught of the internet, we do find that children use the internet resources more often than using the library, but I still believe that having a paper book is more useful and great fun. It encourages the process of reading newspapers.

“I am hoping that the benefit of this mobile library is that teachers and learners become more specific in their growing process when it comes to reading and gaining knowledge. We hope that this will be great for the future of Ned Doman, that we will re-establish a reading community, which schools were intended to do.”

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