Ford assists in educational project in EC

Ford donated R1.36-million to the READ Educational Trust to fund the Rally to Read in Eastern Cape ahead of World Book Day, Saturday 23 April.

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The manufacturer recently partnered with the READ Educational Trust and its Rally to Read programme to donate and distribute almost 7 000 books to schools in the province. Ford’s association with Rally to Read spans over 23 years, and the latest project is the result of a R1.36-million grant by Ford SA aimed at bolstering education and literacy in the province.

As a three-year initiative, the Rally to Read will benefit around 4 100 primary school learners at eight schools in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro. The focus during the first year is on the Foundation Phase, from Grade R to Grade 3, followed by the Intermediate Phase learners, from Grade 4 to Grade 7.

Part of the books and learning material destined for schools in the Eastern Cape.

“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,” says Esther Buthelezi, Government Affairs and Transformation Director, Ford South Africa. “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 in our efforts to tackle these issues head-on.

According to READ, the Eastern Cape was selected for this year’s Ford-sponsored Rally to Read as the province traditionally has the lowest Matric results in the country, and many schools remain under-resourced with a shortage of textbooks and learning material well into the 2022 academic year.

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on teaching over the past two years, with rotational learning and social distancing severely constraining an already challenging educational environment. Now that schools are back full time, teachers will have a mammoth task in ensuring that learners catch-up any lost skills.

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