South African teacher inspires young readers with children’s stories
This method will help young readers improve their literacy skills
A 22-year-old primary school teacher is receiving accolades for authoring a book aimed at enhancing South African children’s reading skills.
Vuyisile Mahlobo, the author, garnered recognition during her participation in a forum of authors held at the University of Mpumalanga (UMP) in Mbombela, as part of a Literary Renaissance roundtable event.
Mahlobo, who once studied at the University’s Siyabuswa Campus in the Highveld and currently teaches at Phiva KwaJelusa Primary School in Phiva Village near Malalane, took inspiration from a study commissioned by the Department of Basic Education in South Africa.
The study, conducted by the University of Pretoria in May of this year, revealed that 81% of Grade 4 students struggle with reading comprehension by the age of 10. This statistic was part of the South African segment of the 2021 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study.
These disheartening statistics compelled Mahlobo to take action to prevent South African children from falling behind in their reading abilities, as reported by
African Times, a partner of TV BRICS.
In her book titled “Joyful Stories,” Mahlobo employed storytelling as a creative approach to captivate the interest of her students.
Mahlobo’s dedication to promoting reading among the nation’s youth left a lasting impression on everyone present, including aspiring authors among the student audience.
Mlungisi Matsebula, a presenter and producer at an educational programme, expressed his enthusiasm for supporting authors of children’s books.
Bobo Lukhele, the leader of Beehive, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to advancing reading, expressed immense pride in authors who acknowledge the importance of children’s reading and writing. He emphasised the significance of authors considering writing children’s books in indigenous languages.
Lebogang Sithole, UMP student development officer at the Mbombela Campus, highlighted the importance of the Student Society Chapters Book Club as an essential extracurricular activity. It aims to promote a culture of reading and encourage students to focus on the fundamental skills of reading and writing.
Lungelihle Dlamni, the coordinator of the UMP Chapters Book Club, encouraged fellow authors to follow Mahlobo’s example.