TO improve literacy in the rural Upper Highway area, the Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust (Hact) called upon the Nal’ibali Campaign (isiXhosa for “here’s the story) to spark children’s potential through storytelling and reading.
The key elements of the campaign includes a high-visibility media campaign to inform, inspire and equip adults to engage children using stories and reading; a national network of face-to-face mentoring, training and support to drive reading clubs and other reading-for-enjoyment activities in communities across the country.
In addition there is a library of multilingual stories and resources for caregivers, parents, teachers and volunteers to share with children.
The education manager of Hact, Sibusiso Mthethwa told the Fever that they called on “Nal’ibali an as they wanted to improve language skills in schools.
“By doing this we are trying to fight the challenges of literacy. Due to the language barrier, pupils are not able to pass all subjects in school - especially in primary schools,” said Mthethwa. He said that Nal’ibali will train the teachers from schools to boost the education levels of themselves and their pupils.
Mthethwa explained that the programmes currently running enables them to identify problems that pupils face and Nal’ibali will be able to tackle these problem. We [encourage] pupils to have goals and achieve them, but they can’t do all of that if they are failing in languages. That’s where the Nal’ibali comes in. They train the facilitators and teachers on how to go about it.
“Then the teachers will start reading clubs where they teach the pupils how to read and the facilitators train the pupils to also teach - this is called peer educators,” he explained.
Mthethwa added that there are 10 peer teachers from the six high schools they are running the programme in.
“We have 10 peer teachers from each high school, from Grade 10 to 12. After their training as pupils to peer teachers, they then start their own reading clubs to help improve their reading skills,” added Mthethwa.
“We aim to promote a love of reading and language skills. With this partnership we hope to improve the reading skills of the pupils so they are able to pass all their subjects with flying colours,” he added.