National and Provincial Ministers visit YearBeyond programme in Heideveld
On Monday, 22 May 2023, the National Minister for Youth, Women and People with Disabilities, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and provincial Minister for Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, visited the YearBeyond Academic Programme in Heideveld.
With the recent statistics released by the Progress and International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) reflecting that 81% of Grade 4s in South Africa cannot read for meaning, the YearBeyond Academic Support Programme serves as one of the responses to this problem. The programme places youth in schools, to offer both in class support and after school programmes assisting Garde 3 and 4 learners with reading and maths. The programme supports the school curriculum as learners engage in activities and exercises that help them catch up with their literacy and numeracy so that they can be at grade level by the end of their Grade 4 year.
Both Ministers were excited about the shared reading colouring books used by the learners in the programme, as they allow learners to not only own them but also take them home, therefore, placing books in the homes of the learners. The day came to a fulfilling end with everybody gathered around for a shared storytelling experience. The ministers took turns reading a picture storybook, which had the learners leaning in with curiosity and bursting into laughter.
Minister Marais said: “Our department is committed to supporting our youth by creating safe after school spaces for them to use the time positively. We want to offer all our young people hope for better opportunities as we help them to become the leaders of the future.”
The visit forms part of the national and provincial ministers’ commitment to promoting a culture of reading. Minister Marais noted that in addition to the work done in schools, DCAS is also working with youth as part of the National Youth Service in Libraries. By leveraging the skills of the young people in communities, the YeBo Libraries Programme is able to increase the promotion of reading clubs, building a strong community culture of reading and getting books into the homes of learners.
Acting Spokesperson to Minister Anroux Marais
Tel: 076 093 4913