The DBE, through its flagship programme, the Read to Lead Campaign, continues to reach out to as many South Africans as possible to promote a culture of reading. The DBE and the Free State Department of Education organised an interactive session with learners and parents at Wongalethu Secondary School at Bethulie in the Free State Province on 31 August 2021. The session was aimed at rekindling a culture of reading in schools, whilst encouraging parents to read story books to their children at home.
In her address, Ms Lindiwe Madumo, project coordinator for the Read to Lead Campaign, said that it was critical that learners were turned into avid readers to change the character of society. Ms Madumo indicated that reading was not only meant for academic purposes, but that children should also read for pleasure. Ms Madumo further outlined a few tips to parents for consideration: “As parents or caregivers, you are expected to set time aside every day for your children to read and write. You must make sure that your children are supervised whilst reading and writing. Also, talk about what your children have read and encourage them to write about it. This is a critical routine to be adopted in nurturing a reading habit for children who are not frequent readers”.
Ms Refilwe Mogale from the Education Management and Governance Development (EMGD) Directorate emphasised that women should read, for them to be able to lead, manage and interpret school policies as SGB members.
Deputy Director for Social Cohesion and Equity in Education, Ms Dululu Hlatshaneni, highlighted that it was essential for schools to promote good values for children so that they grow up with respect and compassion. Ms Hlatshaneni further encouraged learners to emulate struggle icons such as Mme Charlotte Maxeke, who treasured the power of books in the advancement of society. “Ms Maxeke was the first black woman graduate in South Africa, with a BSc degree from Wilberforce University in Ohio in 1903. Through reading, we are able to draw insights from other nations to acquire various approaches in dealing with day-to-day life challenges such as Gender-Based Violence, teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse and harassment. I therefore urge parents to assist schools in creating safer learning environments for learners”.