Literacy for all

City of Tshwane raises literacy among residents

The City of Tshwane has embarked on a programme to promote literacy among all its citizens
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The City of Tshwane Library Services and the Gauteng Provincial Library Services jointly launched the Born to Read Programme at the Zithobeni Library as part of the City's plan to raise the level of literacy within the municipality.

The Member of the Mayoral Committee for Sport and Recreational Services, Cllr Nosipho Makeke, said the Born to Read Programme involves the baby and its mother. She said the programme will reduce illiteracy and build a better educated community in Tshwane, which is one of the mandates of the City of Tshwane. She added that she was proud the best matric results were from the Tshwane region. She encouraged everyone to read, saying literacy is the only weapon against low self-esteem.

Ten children of the Thembalethu crèche received certificates for the excellent reading skills they demonstrated in 2012. Cllr Makeke and the chairperson of the Oversight Committee, Thandi Maseko, handed over the certificates.

The main purpose of the Born to Read Programme is to promote reading at any age. Pregnant women attending the event were encouraged to read while still pregnant so that they could convey the reading spirit to their unborn children. Ms T. Rasebote of the Department of Education said it is crucial for parents to teach their children to read. She said reading at an early age gives children personal freedom. She advised parents to buy kids’ books written in their home language.

The Zithobeni event was to be followed up by similar programmes in other Tshwane regions. One local clinic and one early childhood development centre have been identified as primary stakeholders in the implementation of the programme in 2013. The Born to Read Programme will be monitored throughout the year in order to increase the number of participating centres in the coming years.

Through this reading development programme, the City hopes to increase residents’ participation in reading and raise literacy levels in Tshwane and, ultimately, contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Tshwane 2055 strategy.

(Credit: City of Tshwane)

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