Making SA a reading nation

2015-04-30 14:30
PHOTO: nicole john

Gcina Mhlophewas at Liberty Midlands Mall recently to share a story from her latest storybook ‘Zimnandi Ngokuphindwa’.

PHOTO: nicole john Gcina Mhlophewas at Liberty Midlands Mall recently to share a story from her latest storybook ‘Zimnandi Ngokuphindwa’.

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THE Department of Basic Education has rolled out a Book Flood campaign across all provinces in the hopes that it will populate libraries at primary and high schools.

According to the National Education Infrastructure Management Systems (NEIMS) report of 2014, only 25% of schools in KwaZulu-Natal have libraries. This refers to the access pupils have to a building or room on the property that houses books.

Speaking to Maritzburg Fever Khanyi Dubazana, director of Education Library, Information and Technology Services, said there are 10 malls throughout KZN that will participate in the initiative.

Liberty Midlands Mall is the selected mall in Pietermaritzburg and has been running the campaign which ends on 20 April.

There have already been large donations made by various bookstores including Exclusive Books and Hargraves Library Services donating R200 000 towards Book Flood.

“Our intention is to promote a culture of reading among pupils across the country and build a nation of readers. Research shows that there is not enough access for pupils to books especially in rural areas. This is what we are trying to improve on. This in turn will increase the overall annual national assessment percentages,” said Dubazana.

Each of the 10 participating malls will stock one primary school and one high school thus 20 schools in the province will be given access to a library by the end of the campaign.

Slangspruit Primary School and Ingqwangele High School have been identified as the schools in the Pietermaritzburg area. The handover of books will be made on 23 April, World Book Day.

Gcina Mhlophe, world renowned author known for her storytelling in Zulu and English, was at Liberty Midlands Mall recently to share a story from her latest storybook Zimnandi Ngokuphindwa.

“This day was an opportunity to celebrate the joy of books and reading and reflect on ways we can promote books and improve reading levels.

“The importance of reading and the culture of books need to be instilled in our children. This provides a solid foundation for learning and enhances their knowledge as future leaders,” said Muhammad Varachia, Liberty Midlands Mall Centre manager.

There are green boxes placed at the information kiosk at the mall, CUM Books or Bargain Books where the public is encouraged to drop off their books suitable for children at both primary and high school

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