In preparation of the next academic cycle of the Kha Ri Gude mass literacy campaign which kicks off in July, the Department of Basic Education gathered blind volunteers in Pretoria for an intensive workshop to ensure they are properly prepared.
The two-and-a-half day workshop, saw Kha Ri Gude Supervisors, Co-ordinators and Monitors come together to be trained on how to train the Voluntary Educators who will eventually conduct the classes to blind people involved in the programme.
The Kha Ri Gude Mass Literacy Campaign was launched in February 2008, with the intention of enabling 4,7 million adults above the age of 15 years to become literate and numerate in one of the eleven official languages. Achieving this goal will enable South Africa to reach its UN: Education For All commitment made at Dakar in 2000 - that of halving the country’s illiteracy rates by 2015. Initiated and managed by the Department of Basic Education, Kha Ri Gude delivers across all nine provinces in a massive logistical outreach.
The Campaign enables adult learners to read, write and calculate in their mother tongue in line with the Unit Standards for Adult Basic Education and Training level 1, and also to learn spoken English. The specifically designed Campaign materials teach reading, writing and numeracy and integrate themes and life skills such as health, gender, the environment and civic education. These materials have been adapted for use in Braille in eleven languages, and for use by the deaf.
Dr Obert Maguve, Director for Learners with Special Education Needs within the Kha Ri Gude programme described the workshop as a session to train the trainers who will be monitoring and supervising the campaign’s classes aimed at the blind.
“We are hoping to equip trainers here with the skills that will see an improvement in teaching. Hopefully the work put in during this process will show in the Learner Assessment Portfolios of adults who enrol in the programme,” said Dr Maguve.
“These people at the workshop will go on to train 260-280 Voluntary Educators and we hope to reach at least 1500 blind learners through the programme this year.”
Dr Maguve said that through the programme, formerly illiterate blind people have been able to realise their rights and empower themselves and regain confidence in their abilities.
Shenika Davids, a first-time supervisor from the Western Cape, expressed delight and excitement at being part of the Kha Ri Gude campaign.
“I am new to the programme and was attracted by the opportunity to teach people as I have a passion for teaching,” said Davids. “Hopefully this is the first step towards better things for me as my dream is to one day open my own learning institution for blind people.”
Images from the event: