Govt makes progress in mass literacy project

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cape Town - Over 600 000 South Africans, who could not previously read and write will be literate and numerate by the end of this year, thanks to government's Kha ri Gud Mass Literacy Campaign.

The literacy campaign, which was launched in 2008, has reached about 620 000 learners and has created approximately 75 000 short term teaching jobs, says Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

Briefing the media on progress made in government's Human Development Cluster, Motshekga said the campaign was evidence that "together we can make a difference".

"We recognise the significance of access to information and its impact on the socio-economic conditions of our people."

Motshekga said the campaign also played a significant role in alleviating poverty by providing volunteers in the poorest communities with a small income.

"The volunteers are central to the Campaign and contribute not only to the teaching and learning process but also to ensuring advocacy, recruitment, monitoring, and ensuring that the Campaign is a vibrant part of disadvantaged communities."

The campaign enables adult learners, at no cost to themselves, to read, write and calculate in their mother tongue and also to learn spoken English.

It also integrates reading, writing and numeracy integrating themes and life skills such as health, gender, the environment and civic education.

These specifically designed materials have also been adapted for use in Braille in eleven languages, and for use by the deaf.

The minister said the classes were presented for 240 contact hours and were held in communities, at times which were convenient to the learners, and take place in homes, churches, community centres and prisons.

Meanwhile, government's programme to transform and expand the delivery of library and information services has delivered new library facilities in Bushbuckridge, Hekpoort in Mogale City, Kamaqhekeza in Nkomazi Municipality, and Morokweng in North West Province.

According to Motshekga, many more facilities were currently under construction.

"Through a range of programmes, our libraries have become community centres that are able to meet local information needs as well as nurture and support formal and informal education," said Motshekga.

She added that also as part of the programme, government was producing publications in all indigenous languages and making them available through community libraries.

Motshekga further expressed disappointment at the destruction of libraries in Mpumalanga as part of the service delivery protests.

"These acts of vandalism undermine the efforts of our government to build caring and sustainable communities."