One of the major barriers teachers face in our schools is the lack of basic resources to support teaching and learning.
In 2017 Edufundi and their donors, Tsogo Sun and Corevest, recognised that one of the major resources needed was books – more importantly relevant, age appropriate, home language books that meet the specific needs and abilities of learners.
Intermediate Phase mentors are given three boxes of 50 books each, and those in the Foundation Phase receive one box to give to deserving teachers and schools once a year. To date Edufundi has given over 2 100 books to 42 teachers in 7 of the schools the organisation supports in the Western Cape.
One of these schools, Homba Primary in Khayelitsha Site B, was the recipient of not one but four boxes of books this year. The Khayelitsha Edufundi mentors, Phillip and Tandiwe, decided to give them all their allocated books. We sat down with Phillip, the Intermediate Phase mentor, to discuss why he chose to gift his boxes to this school in particular and discover the impact these books are having in the classrooms:
“Homba Primary is a school without enough reading books, but a school with a passion for reading,” said Phillip. Up to now reading lessons were often conducted with photocopied pages. “As you can imagine, a black and white photocopy cannot be compared to a full colour book. What’s more, these resources would easily get damaged or lost as they were not built to last. But something I saw when I first became involved in the school was that the teachers did not use this as a reason not to teach. This showed just how resourceful the school could be. We knew that these boxes would add great value to all the teachers and learners who use them. Now they will have proper books to read from, colourful pictures to engage with and a sense of pride when they read.”
The teachers at Homba Primary are grateful for Phillip and Tandiwe’s support, noting that these valuable resources are sure to be put to good use:
“The books are different and the learners are more excited to read now.” – Ms Yonela Mpahleni, a Grade 4 teacher.
“I am very, very happy – especially with the home language books. We have been struggling to get short stories for the home language. Now learners can read in their mother tongue.” – Ms Zintle Nyandeni, Grade 5 educator.
“The impact is fruitful; there are different stories for the learners to read now instead of the same books being repeated. Learners really appreciated the books and they love reading. If you tell them it is reading time they get excited.” – Ms Lungelwa Moshara, Grade 7 educator.
It is easy to forget that sometimes the smallest acts make the biggest difference. The gift of these books serves to acknowledge our teachers’ hard work and dedication to educating the nation’s children.
May Ellen Chase once said, “There is no substitute for books in the life of a child" and we couldn’t agree more!
A book in the right hands can make a very big difference indeed!