Learning to read like overcoming blindness, says gogo

2010-10-04 00:00

“WHEN my name was written down, I used to see it, but could not read it. But thanks to Masifundisane, now I can read it.” These are the proud words of Mtombi Ngcobo, one of the thousands of graduates of the Masifundisane mass literacy programme, during a ceremony held by the Mkhambathini Municipality recently.

Previously, the KwaZulu-Natal Education Department held a big Masifundisane and Abet graduation ceremony, but the provincial cabinet has since resolved that districts hold their own ceremonies under the flagship programme.

The programme takes social cluster departments to communities, driven by MECs who champion a particular district. The MEC for Finance, Ina Cronjé, is the champion for the uMgungundlovu district, and she headed the event.

Cronjé is no newcomer to the Abet/Masifundisane celebrations. As MEC of Education, she had witnessed thousands of adults and grandparents shed tears of joy at their newfound skill.

The recent graduation was no different. Speaking at the ceremony, Ngcobo (73) likened herself to a blind person who now can see.

“I can now withdraw money from the bank. I can even read the caller’s name on my cellphone,” she added.

Cronjé saidMasifundisane has drastically reduced illiteracy among adults in KZN. It has reached an estimated 580 000 of 1,2 million illiterate adults, and the Khari Gude literacy programme has reached an estimated 85 000 adults.

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