Equal Education (EE), with the Tourism Community Development Trust (TCD Trust), will launch its fifth library at Blomvlei Primary School, on Friday February 25 at 2pm in Hanover Park.
Blomvlei Primary School library is an achievement for EE’s School Libraries Campaign. This is the first time a business trust has partnered with EE to put a library in a school. The TCD Trust has spent more than 2.5 million rand on physical infrastructure in the school, mostly on construction of an eco-friendly library.
The Bookery project:
The Bookery, established as the home of EE’s book-drive and based at 20 Roeland Street, has received, sorted, labelled and catalogued a collection of 4000 books. The collection will give some of the children their first ever reading pleasure of choice. These efforts were supported by book donors, the Bookery’s volunteers, and cash donors who helped to make up for shortages of non-fiction titles. The library will also be used by a neighbouring high school.
Minimum Norms and Standards:
Currently only 8% of public schools in South Africa have functioning school libraries, most of which are in former model-C schools. Widely acclaimed research has shown that the provision of functioning school libraries is significantly linked to improved learner performance.
There is still no national policy on school libraries after 17 years of democracy, and national government has failed to implement School Library Guidelines, which were promised by mid-2010.
This ties in to the greater problem of poor infrastructure development in South African schools, as many children and teachers in public schools are faced with extremely challenging learning and teaching conditions. 92% of schools do not have libraries, 3 603 schools in his countr
y do not have electricity supply and 2 444 do not have water. 95% of schools have no functioning laboratory, 90% have no computers, while there are still over 400 ‘mud schools’.
EE is calling on the Department of Basic Education to deliver on the department’s promise to publish a set of regulation Minimum Norms and Standards for school infrastructure by the end of March 2011, as outlined in the South African Schools Act in 2007.
Norms and Standards refer to the minimum and optimum provisions that must be adhered to in order for physical teaching and learning to take place in schools. These norms and standards will inform parents, teachers and learners about the conditions that must be present in a class in order for an environment conducive to learning to prevail. Norms and Standards advocate that no school may operate beneath a certain minimum level.
Blomvlei Primary School is located in Turfall Road, Hanover Park
For more information please contact Yoliswa or Kathryn
021 387 0022/3
Themba Tshabalala, Coordinator of The Bookery
021 461 4189