Cape Town - The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Wednesday continued to show its commitment to increasing literacy in South Africa as it launched its sixth Boks for Books library at Moipone Primary School in Thaba ‘Nchu, east of Bloemfontein in the Free State.
The library, which is housed in a specially-constructed prefab classroom, is fully stocked with books and audio visual equipment including a television and computer, a Libwin library system, and furniture, and has been funded in full by SARU.
Moipone Primary School has a total of has 1,014 learners from Grade R to Grade 7. These learners have limited access to information at home, and have to rely mainly on the learning materials provided at school. Such is the school’s commitment to literacy the principal, Mrs Hilda Sephiri, instituted a reading period before the construction of the library despite the school’s limited resources.
This is the first Boks for Books library to be launched in the Free State region. Similar libraries have been launched in KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and the Western Cape since 2013.
“Literacy and education is vital to the future of our nation,” said SARU CEO Jurie Roux. “We hope that through the provision of libraries we will be able to make a sustainable contribution to education in South Africa and to many of its needy communities.
“The Springboks and all our other national players may be popular because of their heroics on the rugby field, but literacy and education, and the discipline associated with that, played a crucial role in guiding them to where they are today. Through this Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiative, we hope to see some of these learners follow in their footsteps, whether it is on the rugby field or in a different line of work in future.”
The Boks for Books initiative was launched by SARU in 2013 and was born out of a desire to make a difference in South Africa. Government identified education as a No 1 national priority, and with only 8% of the nation’s schools having functional libraries, SARU opted to afford children the opportunity to learn how to read.
The Thaba ‘Nchu Boks for Books launch was attended by Roux, Springbok prop Trevor Nyakane and Toyota Free State Cheetahs wing Raymond Rhule.
“The establishment of this library by SARU will enable us to nurture our learners with optimal multilingual opportunities, which will contribute to a better society,” said the School Principal, Mrs Sephiri.
“The learners will from young age be able to experience and enjoy a real library, which will strengthen other values such as responsibility, passion, quality education and the need for lifelong learning. And for this, the Moipone staff, the School Governing Body, and the community would like to thank SARU.”
The other Boks for Books libraries are located at the Sekwati Primary School in Soweto, Kwamanzini Primary School in the KwaNdengezi District in Pinetown, the Gcobani Higher Primary School in Mdantsane, the Groenheuwel Primary School in Paarl and JJ Rhode Primary School in Elsenburg, Stellenbosch.