iSimangaliso shares the gift of reading
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority recently initiated a school library programme to augment its existing education initiatives. Launched last week as a partnership between the Umfolozi Sugar Mill (USM) and the Authority, a pilot library book collection kick-started the programme with Macmillan Publishers also donating books towards the programme.
Two schools in the Mtubatuba area – Mzabalazo Primary School in Dukuduku and Gilonki High School in Nkundusi – were selected for the pilot project, assessed on the following criteria:
- The school already makes use of books and other library resources;
- An existing library resource is in place, and accessible to educators and learners;
- There is a dedicated educator responsible for managing the library resources
Says iSimangaliso Project and Facilitation Assistant Nosipho Ngcobo, “After looking at a number of applications from schools within the neighbouring area that have a relationship with both the Park and USM, iSimangaliso was impressed with the way in which the library was resourced and managed at these two. Most of the library books have an environmental theme, in the hope that we can improve access to information, instil a passion for books and promote a culture of reading.”
Mzabalazo’s Principal, Mr Ndulini, said that he was thrilled for their school to be chosen for the pilot phase. “We are happy that amongst all schools in the Mtubatuba Municipal area, we were one of two who were selected.” He added that iSimangaliso and USM will not regret the decision of donating the books to their school because they will be highly utilised.
The second session took place in Gilonki High School where Principal Mrs Thusi welcomed iSimangaliso and explained to learners the purpose of iSimangaliso’s presence at the school. She expressed her happiness and sense of privilege for her school to be chosen as part of the pilot project said that she is looking forward seeing her learners’ knowledge capacity grow.
Mr Gumede, of the Gilonki School Governing Body, thanked iSimangaliso for the good work it was doing especially when they are looking after the people of the area. He said the job of looking after nature was very important and bigger than iSimangaliso alone as it also requires the youth of the area to play a part in conservation. This, he said, begins when they first learn about nature.
His sentiments were echoed by Mr Khoza, a Ward 8 Councillor, who spoke about the need to get young people off bad habits and encourage them to adopt good habits like reading. He said that as the governing party they “knew long ago how reading was central to liberation when they proclaimed in the freedom charter that “the doors of learning and culture shall be opened”.
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