Six schools in Umguza received a huge consignment of books from ORAP, in partnership with Inspire Women and Children Trust, a move aimed at improving the pupil-to-book ratio in Matabeleland North.
Known as the Phambano Cluster in Umguza, the schools consist of five primaries, Dundubala, Mathonisa, Maraposa, Semukeleni, Mahlothova and its secondary.
The donation comes at a time when Matabeleland North achieved a low pass rate for Grade Seven examinations last year, as 29 schools recorded zero passes.
Speaking during the handover ceremony held at Mahlothova Primary School Wednesday, ORAP Library Coordinator, Qiniso Mwedzi, said as an organisation that promoted empowerment, they wanted to develop and improve a reading culture in rural schools.
“As ORAP, we are planning on running a rural schools library project, whose main aim will be to improve the reading culture in rural schools,” she said.
Mwedzi added that these books were meant to bridge the knowledge gap between children in urban areas and rural areas.
“We hope that through this donation, the pass rate in this district will improve the knowledge gap between rural and urban areas,” said the library coordinator.
Lisa Ncube, another official from ORAP reiterated that reading was a form for empowering children.
“As ORAP we believe in empowering both the boy and girl child, providing education for them so they can become leaders of tomorrow. As we donate these books our philosophy of ‘Do it yourself’ is being promoted,” she said.
“We are mostly concerned with children’s education because we want to harness their skills while they are young and promote a reading culture as well as teaching them independence so that they learn to think outside the box.”
Inspire Women and Children also donated trophies to the Phambano cluster, saying by promoting a culture of ‘healthy’ competition among the schools, learners would have something to take back home.
“We brought trophies for these four schools under the Phambano cluster so that when they have competitions while playing games, the winning school will have a prize to show for their excellence,” said Gift Sanyamahwe, Director of Inspire Women and Children.
The books donated by ORAP were sourced from the United States of America Children’s Fellowship (USACF).