Friday, 09 July 2010 09:13
JOHANNESBURG - Donate your favourite children’s story book on Nelson Mandela Day.
The Nelson Mandela Institute (NMI) in association with the department of basic education, has called on members of the public to take a step towards promoting reading among young children.
The organisations encouraged people to honour Nelson Mandela Day on July 18 by donating children’s story books of any language to local creches, schools or libraries, and spend 67 minutes reading a book to a child.
The call was made yesterday at an event held at the Nelson Mandela Foundation building in Houghton.
Among the speakers at the event was 16-year-old Grade 10 pupil, Phathiswa Shushwana who shared her experience of learning at a school without a library and how fortunate she is now that her school has library.
“In South Africa there are 23 178 schools without libraries. My school is one of the three schools in Khayelitsha that has a library. I wish my comrades could say the same. I’m one of the lucky ones,” Shushwana said.
“Aren’t we supposed to be equal? Where is this equality when there are those whose schools have libraries and there are those whose schools don’t?” Shushwana asked.
In response to Shushwana’s question, Themba Kojana, a representative of the basic education department said: “It was due to issues such as that raised by Shushwana that they partnered with NMI.
“This year the department will celebrate Mandela Day by providing educational resources like books to creches and schools lacking such resources,” he said.
A grade five pupil, Matshepo Tshabalala, 11, told The Citizen she was going to celebrate Mandela Day by presenting a Madiba poem and reading a book to her friends.