Underprivileged schools in Ngqamakwe and Butterworth received much-needed resources during this year’s annual Rally-to-Read campaign hosted by Mercedes-Benz South Africa on Saturday.
Ten schools with an average pupil enrolment of 300, received tons of books, sports equipment and other learning and teaching support material.
MBSA spokesman Asanda Fongqo said the overall aim of the campaign was to improve teaching, reading and writing and ultimately pupil competencies, and to provide training and professional development for educators.
“In line with our corporate social responsibility [CSR] key focus area of education, MBSA supports this initiative through three elements – sponsorship, donation and employee volunteerism,” said Fongqo.
Convoys of vehicles departed from the MBSA plant in East London on Saturday morning to deliver educational material and resources to the remote schools.
On arrival at the schools, participants met and interacted with the pupils and teachers as part of the process of handing over the books and resources.
Fongqo said it was the second time these schools had benefited from the outreach programme.
“The pupils were overwhelmed and took pride in demonstrating the reading skills they had developed since our previous visit.
“It was fulfilling to see how they used the material that had been donated to the them.
Tegcuwana Junior Secondary School principal Noncedo Booi said the material they had received would help improve the standard of education at their school.
Booi said even though the Grade R pupils did not have a conducive classroom, they were excited about the edutainment material they received.
“Despite being taught in a structure built by parents, which is not really up to standard, and has no furniture, the kids look forward to doing activities using the material donated by Read,” Booi said.
“This is the second time we have benefited from this programme and I can confidently say that reading books has drastically improved our pupils’ vocabulary.”
Booi said she was grateful for such initiatives that promoted reading in rural areas where facilities such as libraries were non-existent.
Tobeshana Junior Secondary School principal Nomfundo Bizana said since receiving the books last year, her pupils’ reading skills had improved dramatically.
“At the rate that our pupils are reading, I am sure they will be able to compete against urban schools.
“Their attitude towards books and reading has really improved drastically,” said Bizana. — firstname.lastname@example.org