Assistance with education materials in Eastern Cape

Ford South Africa has once again partnered with the READ Educational Trust in the Eastern Cape by donating much-needed funds to the Rally to Read programme. This year, the programme will for the first time include a digital literacy element.

23 Ford Readr1

Ford has a long association with Rally to Read, and the latest project is the result of another R1.360 million grant by Ford aimed at bolstering education and literacy in the province. The Rally to Read will benefit around 4 085 learners and 124 teachers at eight schools in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro. This is part of a three-year initiative, which commenced in 2022.

“We are delighted to once again support the amazing work that Rally to Read does across the country, and it is wonderful to focus on Nelson Mandela Bay where Ford South Africa’s legacy started in 1923 and where our Struandale Engine Plant is located in Gqeberha,” said Neale Hill, President Ford Motor Company Africa.

“With South Africa’s high levels of poverty and unemployment, the most important tools that we have to empower and uplift the people of this country are education and literacy. Youth unemployment is one of South Africa’s most serious challenges, and our involvement with READ Educational Trust and the Rally to Read plays an important role to tackle these issues,” added Neil.

The academic material this year is focused on the Intermediate Phase, ranging from grade 4 to grade 7 and is prepared and supplied by the READ Educational Trust. It consists of story books, multi-coloured box libraries containing reading books of various genres, as well as smart projectors.

The programme continues to work with eight schools; David Vuku Lower Primary School, Nomathamsanqa Primary School, WB Tshume Primary School, Mzomtsha Public Primary School, Elukholweni Farm School, Rocklands Intermediate School, Empumalanga School and Nkuthalo Public Primary School.

The digital literacy programme that is being implemented for the first time this year will help facilitate better learning opportunities for scholars. Smart projectors will be utilised to promote a multi-faceted learning experience by using infographics, streaming online videos and accessing web browsers for real-time information during lessons to modernise the learning experience.

According to READ, the Eastern Cape traditionally has the lowest Matric results in the country, with many schools remaining under-resourced with a shortage of textbooks and learning material well into the academic year. The province is one of the poorest in the country.

“Through this partnership, we hope to inspire children to develop a love for reading and to receive knowledge that they can carry through to their adult years. Our association with the READ Educational Trust dates back to 1999, and it is one we are incredibly proud of as it makes a real difference to the lives of both the learners and teachers,” concluded Neil.

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