On the 30 March, 500 people marched in a march organised by Equal Education in Polokwane. This was one of the marches organised by Equal Education, calling for a National Policy on School Libraries with an implementation plan that will set targets for the provision of functioning school libraries. Their slogan is 1 School, 1 Library, 1 Librarian.
Currently, only 8% of school libraries in this country are functional. Six Drafts of the policy on school libraries have been made since 2007 and yet no policy exist. For South Africa to address the inequalities in education and illiteracy among school children of this country, Equal Education says it is important to have a policy that will reflect political commitment. In absence of this policy, there is no enforceable document guaranteeing that every child is provided with a functioning library.
The marchers gathered at Jack Botes Hall at 11:00 am and the march began at 12:00 pm. Equal Education and supporters marched to the Limpopo Education Department and handed over the Memorandum to Mr. Benny Boshielo Head of Limpopo Education Department.
Gundo Matamela, from Makhado Comprehensive Secondary School, attested to the inadequate provision of libraries in the Polokwane area saying, “The library we have in Makhado is small, just look at the amount of learners that are gathered here today. We are all from different places and the town Makhado is too far away and dangerous for us young learners to go to. Building a library in our communities is an investment” Matamela also conveyed what access to resources can mean in poor and working class schools “Minister [Angie Motshekga], the [text]books we get each year have only a small amount of information, really not enough to build our future”
Mr Benny Boshielo, Head of Limpopo Education Department, promised to “take the Memorandum and directed it to where it must go” referring to the President Jacob Zuma and the Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga to which the Memorandum is addressed. Bishielo also reiterated the need for school libraries by saying “Today we received grade 3 results which showed us that we cannot get good performances without libraries”