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VWSA celebrates milestones on its literacy journey

  • VWSA has partnered with Nal’ibali National Reading Campaign for 10 years
  • It is also five years since VWSA opened its first literacy centre in Kariega

Kariega (Uitenhage) – Two significant projects by Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA), both of which are aimed at ensuring functional literacy by the age of 10 for Kariega learners, reached milestones worth celebrating.

VWSA’s partnership with the Nal’ibali National Reading Campaign has been running since 2012, making this the tenth anniversary of the partnership, which has reached more than 5 000 children in Kariega, Despatch and Motherwell to date. With VWSA’s support through its VW Community Trust, the Nal’ibali programme runs in 18 primary schools in these areas, with 160 reading clubs to promote a love of reading, and 635 people trained to support literacy development through these initiatives.

At the same time, this month marks five years since VWSA’s first literacy centre was opened at Ntlemeza Primary School in Kariega. The company has established a total of five literacy centres at KwaNobuhle schools, the other centres being at Vuba Primary, Noninzi Luzipho Primary, Mngcunube Primary and James Ntungwana Primary. A total of 1 124 learners have been reached through this literacy intervention.

To build on the success of these centres, the company has also introduced classroom-based literacy interventions at five more KwaNobuhle primary schools. This programme is administered by Funda Wande, a long-standing partner of VWSA, and entails Teacher Assistants working full time with the teachers in classrooms to promote literacy. The beneficiaries of this programme, which began in January, are: Melumzi Primary School, Nosipho Primary School, Phakamile Primary School, Mthonjeni Senior Primary School and Alex Jayiya Primary School. An estimated 633 learners will benefit from this initiative in 2022.

These two initiatives are only a part of the Community Trust’s extensive efforts to ensure learners can read for meaning by grade 3. Other programmes include a variety of workshops hosted for learners, parents and caregivers at 10 schools since 2015, as well as teacher training specifically focused on teaching reading, in partnership with Rhodes University and Funda Wande. An estimated R57 million has been invested in VWSA’s journey for literacy to date.

“Full functional literacy remains the gateway for learning, and education is the foundation on which our youth will build their futures,” said Nonkqubela Maliza, Director for Corporate and Government Affairs at VWSA. “We want that foundation to be as strong as possible, which is why the Community Trust has dedicated its time and resources to prioritising education. We are thankful to have had valuable partners on this journey, and together we intend to continue making an impact in foundation phase education.”