Knowledge boosted through donation

2015-09-16 06:00
EN ROUTE to the Schmidtsdrift Batlhaping Intermediate School.
Boipelo Mere

EN ROUTE to the Schmidtsdrift Batlhaping Intermediate School. Photos: Boipelo Mere

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WAVING flags in jubilation the learners of the Schmidtsdrift Batlhaping Intermediate School ran to welcome their guests of the business unit of Kumba Iron Ore, along with its Northern Cape partner the Petra Diamonds, Finsch Diamond Mine.

These companies recently visited the school as part of their Bidvest Rally to Read initiative.

The school is amongst the 12 schools that were visited by these corporate companies who sponsored this worthy initiative.

Kumba and Petra Diamonds have taken the opportunity to work together with Bidvest to change the lives of rural school children in partnership with the Department of Education and the Read Educational Trust.

On the day, the sponsors donated two library boxes and R1 000 for learners’ lunches. The sponsorship also included teacher training.

The literacy materials in the library boxes were developed by the Read Educational Trust according to the standards of the revised national curriculum of the Department of Basic Education.

They also donated sports gear, musical instruments and 25 chairs. The cherry on top was the donation of R5 000 to be used by the school for educational purposes.

Sponsors also investigated and assessed how the first years’ initiatives were implemented and will provide additional support to the schools to teach the children to read.

The rally was well received by the school who worked out a short programme to showcase their achievements and to display their talents.

The Read Foundation has developed a programme to address reading, writing and general communication. It was discovered that inadequate literacy prevented children from obtaining a good education.

According to Aloysius Barth, head of curriculum at the district Department of Education, the initiative has boosted the learners’ self-confidence and has already showed good results.

The school was adopted by the stakeholders for three years where an agreement was signed to encourage reading.

Encouraging the usage of home language and story-telling, Barth elaborated that the usage of home language helped in the effectiveness of the learner.

“Parents, you must read to the children. Luckily we are not totally illiterate anymore. When they go to school they are already mentally prepared to listen attentively. When they are listening they also immediately try to make meaning in what they hear.

“Story-telling is a South African skill that we have learnt from our parents. Let us bring it back, as by doing so we will be cultivating bright futures,” added Barth.

The school principal, Fletcher Duiker, urged the parents to be an example to their children by practising what they preach, which was to read.

“Petra Diamonds is proud to be part of this educational initiative in Siyancuma (Pixley ka Seme District).”

The feedback from other sponsors was that the programme increased the confidence of both teachers and learners.

“The opportunity to be part of the Rally to Read enables the rural schools to develop and grow the future generation,” said Charmaine Olivier of the Petra Diamonds, Finch Diamond Mine.

“Bidvest is proud to be part of this initiative that will ultimately equip children to become economically active citizens of this country one day,” said Gillian McMahon, executive director of Bidvest South Africa.

George Benjamin, manager of public affairs at Kumba Iron Ore’s Kolomela Mine, said: “This investment in education today is a valuable investment towards our future generation of leaders.

“This will ensure that education directly combats our challenges that contribute to unemployment, poverty and inequalities into the future.”

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