On 13 August 2012, the Departments of Basic Education and Art and Culture, National Libraries of South Africa, South African Book Development Council SGB members and other education stakeholders converged at Bathokwa Primary in Attridgeville, for the launch of the National Guidelines for School Library and Information Services.
According to Basic Education Deputy Minister, Mr Surty, the guidelines seeks to explore a range of library models which encompass classroom libraries, mobile libraries, cluster libraries and school community libraries. Further, it puts teachers to task to improve their teaching techniques so that learners adopt reading as their hobby.
Deputy Minister Surty applauded all the education stakeholders including the Embassy of Japan for coming on board to improve quality education in South Africa. The Embassy of Japan is currently running an initiative which provides mobile libraries to all disadvantaged schools across the country.
“We will fully support all efforts made by the provincial education departments to make sure that the guidelines are successfully implemented, monitored and evaluated”.
“The library provisioning challenge remains a compressive one. It requires ongoing research and development. For this reason, we will build a coherent capacity within the national, provincial, district and school constituencies as well as other stakeholders to ensure that we strengthen the implementation of the guidelines at all levels,” said Deputy Minister Surty.
“The DBE views access to resources holistically, including access to high-quality teaching and learning materials; starting by providing a textbook for every learner in the schooling system and moving towards providing additional resource materials.
He urged all beneficiaries of the document to apply it advantageously. Mr Surty advised the principal and the staff to gather books to fill the library with even more reading material.
“This approach will assist the education system in managing the huge financial, infrastructural, human and material resources, and the logistical implications of working together towards a fully functional library and information service for schools,” said the Deputy Minister.
Addressing the event, Deputy Minister Surty said that teachers and parents need to help learners to develop a reading habit in schools since reading enhances comprehensiveness in class. He alluded that, while providing libraries to schools, it is imperative to consider the impact of Information and Communication Technology in the schooling system.
In conclusion, the Deputy Minister encouraged DBE partners to keep up the good work, saying that there is a need to instil hope and confidence within the education system and subsequently propel our nation towards intellectual prosperity, an important ingredient in economic advancement.
Images from the event: