Johannesburg — A TECHNOLOGY company has embarked on a drive to address South Africa's literacy crisis by providing more opportunities for learners in underprivileged areas.
Through the intervention, Huawei, aims aims to build libraries at various schools in different affected regions around the country.
This forms part of its "Today's Readers, Tomorrow's Leaders" initiative, which has Lehwelereng Secondary School in Hamanskraal as the first beneficiary.
The school's new library will be opened in January 2020. Huawei's goal is to raise R400 000 to purchase books for the library.
"One of the most serious issues we face in this country is that learners from primary to high school are struggling to read," said Likun Zhao, Vice President of Huawei Consumer Business Group, Middle East and Africa.
He used as an example a 2016 study showed that 78 percent of South African children in Grade 4, around the ages of 9 or 10, could not understand what they read in any language.
"We need to create a culture of reading in South Africa, as this skill is key for success in life," Zhao said.
Huawei has partnered with a prominent radio station to roll out its initiatives aimed at assisting those affected by this literacy crisis.
"Although our primary mission is to bring technology to communities and individuals, we also want to uplift those in need by providing basic necessities such as a library," Zhao continued.
He expressed hope South Africans would donate towards the buying of books for the Lehwelereng library.
"We know that South Africa will rise to the occasion and help us in assisting this underprivileged school," Zhao concluded.