New fully equipped libraries officially opened


Kimberley - Two newly constructed libraries were recently opened during the national library week at Rolihlahla and Tswarelela Primary Schools in the Frances Baard district.


This is part of the 1000 school libraries campaign launched by the Basic Education Minister Angie Motsega. Minister Motshekga made a commitment that each province will receive 2 libraries fully equipped with books and a qualified librarian annually.


The libraries are set to improve the standard of literacy and numeracy which is a national concern.


The Northern Cape Department of Education launched the two libraries under the theme, Hashtag - Library for lifelong learning.


Speaking at the Tswarelela opening ceremony, Department’ senior manger Doris Sibiya emphasized the importance of libraries at school premises.


"In order to improve literacy and reduce the number of learner drop outs, we must make reading fashionable. We cannot do this without providing fully functional libraries at schools.


We view libraries as a key player because they have a role in almost all the literacy factors, from access to materials and training to promotion and cooperation. They will also assist us to keep our learners off the streets", said Sibiya.


Meanwhile the other challenges faced by learners include reading without understanding. In 2013, the Department introduced reading coaches to assist in this regard.


The libraries will operate after school hours.


With the Annual National Assessment (ANA) findings having proved that learners in the system are still faced with challenges in acquiring reading levels that are age and grade appropriate especially where the language off learning and teaching is different from their home language, the libraries will be used as the main resource to improve that.


As part of enticing learners to read, the department is encouraging communities to form reading clubs while competitions such as Spelling Bee also formed part of improving the standard of literacy and numeracy.