Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

4 May, 2011

“Thank-you small library project” upgrades four city school libraries

Statement by Minister Donald Grant, Minister of Education, Western Cape

This morning, a ceremony was held at Masivuke Primary School in Mitchells Plain to celebrate the upgrading of four city school libraries through the “Thank You Small Library Project”.

The “Thank You Small Library Project”, sponsored by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation: Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty (UNWTO ST-EP) Foundation, is an education programme aimed at upgrading and stocking libraries in schools in various countries in the world.

80 “Thank You Small Libraries” have been established around the world to date. In South Africa, four school libraries from the Western Cape have been assisted.

These four schools include Masivuke Primary and Siyazakha Primary in Philippi, Parkhurst Primary in Mitchell's Plain and Levana Primary in Lavender Hill.

This morning, UNWTO ST-EP Foundation Chairman Ambassador Dho Young Shim officially opened the recently upgraded Masivuke Primary school library.

Each of the schools received over 1 500 books, furniture such as tables and chairs, a computer and printer, various educational resources, and stationary. The cost of each upgrade was approximately R100 000.

“I cannot tell you how it brightens my day when I see a young child with a book in his/her hands. The importance of that choice to pick up a book and read it is not fully realized by a child at a young age. However, the impact it can make on his/her life is immense,” said Western Cape Education Minister Donald Grant on Wednesday.

“That is why building textbook-rich schools is a priority for this administration. Therefore I would like to sincerely thank the UNWTO ST-EP Foundation for this generous donation to re-stock and upgrade these libraries. Special thanks must also be made to our GET Co-ordinator in Metro South District, Mr Fadli Wagiet, and the staff of EDULIS for assisting in the co-ordination of the upgrades.”

Grant said that libraries formed part of a broader strategy to ensure text-rich schools.

“By building text-rich schools we are providing our learners with the opportunity to improve their reading skills. Increased access to reading materials will have a direct impact on learner outcomes and I hope that each of these schools will properly utilize these libraries, integrating them into their schools litnum strategies," he said.

"Improving the literacy skills of our learners is essential, therefore, in this financial year, we have allocated, in addition to the norms and standards allocations to schools, R129 million on textbook allocation.”

Grant also announced earlier this year that the department had made the commitment that over the next three years, every child from Grades 1-12 will have a textbook in every subject that he or she is taking.

“We have also invested about R120-million in libraries at schools in poverty quintiles one, two and three."

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