ZAMDELA - As part of International Literacy Day, the Executive Mayor of Metsimaholo Local Municipality, Cllr Brutus Mahlaku, took time away from his busy schedule, to celebrate the day with the learners of Grade 3A of Nelson Mandela Primary School in Zamdela on Tuesday morning. Mahlaku said that he felt it was necessary to celebrate the day with the future leaders of South Africa, because previously such dates were not celebrated amongst the black communities.
“I want to remind South Africans that we, as black people, were not encouraged to have formal education during the apartheid. But after 1994, we saw many of our people starting to learn how to read and write. Today, I feel very honoured to be part of this International Literacy Day,” said the first citizen of Metsimaholo. According to him, it is through literacy that the economy of South Africa can grow and provide better life for its citizens.
Mayor Mahlaku was excited to learn that one of the learners at the same school, Thabo Motaung (9), performed extremely well during this year’s Reading Festival, which was held in Bloemfontein last week. Thabo managed to qualify for the provincial Reading Festival and also sees himself taking part in the 2015 Reading Festival finals in the Grade 3 category. “I was in Bloemfontein last week and it was fun. I was not scared. I was very happy,” said the young Thabo with a big smile.
The book which he was reading during the finals was titled 'Thembi and Themba at the airport.' To ensure that the little minds at Nelson Mandela Primary School are filled with knowledge, the principal, Thabile Chabela, said that they have a number of programmes that help all learners to reach their potential.
“Our school does not start around the time schedules of other school. We start classes at 7:30am and every learner is in class. On top of that, we have an hour period which is an extra class used to help those that are running behind with some of their subjects,” said Principal Chabela.
Meanwhile, the principal also said that at the beginning of the year they have allocated a budget which went to the renovation of the school’s library. Principal Chabela said that they are happy to see the mayor of Metsimaholo taking time and visiting the school to celebrate International Literacy Day.
September 8 was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO on November 17, 1965. It was first celebrated in 1966. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.