FOLLOWING a drive on World Book Day last year to start a school library, last week Kuyasa Combined School officially opened its first school library, which now provides reading material to pupils on loan.
“We want to improve literacy at school,” said deputy headmaster Lulamile Mxube. “The more they read, the more they learn about life because books are written by people.”
Mxube stressed that improved literacy would result in improvements in other faculties of learning beyond English literacy. He further noted that a submission had been made to non-government charity organisation Breadline, applying to be sponsored with a container to be turned into a larger library at the school.
“There is only one library in the township, which is on the other side of the township, and it’s not convenient for our pupils,” Mxube said.
Reading and writing are skills often disregarded by the youth as the important. Living in a world where television and digital media content are at the forefront of entertainment has resulted in low literacy levels across South Africa. In an effort to remedy this, Sue Gordon and other volunteers have appealed for books and magazines to stock a library at Kuyasa.
Through Talk of the Town, Tiso Black Star Group donated bundles of Nal’iBali (“Here’s the Story”) – a national campaign aimed at inspiring the youth of South Africa to read. Gordon delivered the bundles to the school yesterday.
“I love library development of any kind,” said Gordon. “This is a big school, very deserving of a library.”
The Kuyasa library opened officially on Monday last week, and has four monitors working there every afternoon: Zanele Mcetywa, Thandokazi Nqowana, Pamela Mzimba and Siphkuhle Konza, who are all in Grade 11.
“First time I read was when we took books from here,” said Nqowana. “We’ve been preparing for the library since last year.”
Mcetywa assists at the library as a way to help her fellow pupils, she said.
“I read sometimes,” Mcetywa said. “I like to help people with reading, writing and spelling.”
The library has two main categories of books: fiction and non-fiction. The non-fiction section has dictionaries, history books and now also a cache of Nal’iBali newspapers for pupils looking to improve themselves with great learning assistance programmes.