23 May 2018

South Africa: Dept of Basic Education Celebrates Africa Day With Special Focus On Reading

press release

Department of Basic Education marks Africa Day with special focus on reading

Africa is our home, and has our hearts and therefore this Africa Day the Department of Basic Education (DBE) will be celebrating with a special focus on literacy and reading. Across the beautiful and immense continent of Africa we have incredible literary masterpieces from authors and poets both modern and old that are worth celebrating, including tales of exceptional resilience and overcoming struggle that can inspire our youth.

The DBE will be joining the rest of the continent in celebrating Africa Day this coming Monday, and we can be especially proud as a country and a continent to celebrate the life and legacy of a great African, our former President and father of our Nation, Tata Nelson Mandela. In his honour this year's theme is "Building a Better Africa and a Better World," and what a better way to do this than by inspiring our nation to read through the Lead to Read campaign. A reading nation is a leading nation.

Africa Month commemorations are held annually across the continent in the month of May to celebrate the achievements made in the development of Africa over the decades. Africa Months events culminate in what the African Union has declared Africa Day on 25 May every year.

The DBE in partnership with Freedom Park and the Gauteng Provincial Department of Education will host the commemoration of Africa Day at Freedom Park on Monday 28 May 2018 in Tshwane. The event will be attended by learners from across Gauteng schools, representatives from across SADC countries, representatives from various Foundations, teacher unions, SGB associations, stakeholders and partners in the education sector.

"We love Africa for its history - the wisdom and strength of our ancestors, who built the Pyramids and Great Zimbabwe; who made the great bronzes of Benin and the great library of Timbuktu; who endured so much and who gave us our freedom." A Love Letter to Africa by Anonymous

Reading has the potential unlock the mystery of the rest of the Continent and inspire fellow Africans through her beautiful and troubled history. The Read to Lead campaign was launched by Minister Angie Motshekga in 2015 to improve literacy levels and get South Africans to make reading a habit. The Read to Lead Campaign has gained the momentum over the years, with support from a wide range of citizens - from business and non-governmental organisations to prominent South Africans who volunteer as Reading Ambassadors.

As part of promoting and advocating for reading in schools, a Reading Ambassador will engage learners on "The importance of reading in Building a better Africa and a better World. "Story tellers from Freedom Park narrate a historical perspective on the lives Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu as South Africans mark their centenaries this year. Some of the presenters will include the representatives from the Sisulu and Mandela Family, including remarks by Minister Motshekga on "The significant role played by the late President Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu in Building a better Africa and a better World".

The focus will be on highlighting the Values of our fallen heroes and heroines and how their commitment, dedication and discipline has led to the Democracy and the milestones that South Africa has achieved over the years, as they fought, strived and aspired for a peaceful and united democratic Country. Most importantly, the learners will be given an opportunity to reflect on the importance of reading by engage with the Honourable Minister and the Panel on the following "How reading can enhance History or Arts and Culture as school subjects in preparing learners to build a better Africa and a better World."

Issued by: Department of Basic Education

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