Johannesburg, 08 November 2023
In a steadfast commitment to uplifting communities in need, our friends at Renault South Africa, in collaboration with the Imperial & Motus Community Trust, proudly announced the donation of a state-of-the-art library and resource centre to Khauhelo Primary School in Naledi, Soweto. This marks Renault's fourth initiative this year, reflecting a dedicated effort to foster literacy and cultivate a love for learning from the very foundation of education.
Designed specifically for junior schools in underprivileged areas, Renault's library donations aim to address the pressing issue of low literacy levels among South African youth. Jane Mabaso, Curriculum Manager at the Imperial & Motus Community Trust, emphasizes the importance of supporting young learners on their literacy journey. "We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate and empower our youth than by supporting them in their literacy journey from the very start," she says.
The urgency of this initiative becomes apparent when considering the concerning findings from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) conducted in 2021. The study revealed that 8 out of 10 Grade 4 South Africans struggle to comprehend what they read, with South Africa scoring the lowest among participating nations. The impact of the pandemic is evident, with a reversal in literacy rates for the first time since 2006.
Jane Mabaso highlights, "Most children just don't have early exposure to books, impacting their ability to comprehend and compromising cognitive and critical thinking skills. As the world becomes more digital, literacy is the gateway to full participation in the digital economy."
Renault's partnership with the Imperial & Motus Community Trust has resulted in the establishment of 75 libraries in schools since 2003. The latest addition at Khauhelo Primary, a small public school with 429 learners, promises to open doors of learning for children from an early age. The vibrant library, echoing Renault's corporate colors, is stocked with over 6,000 titles, creating a fun and inviting environment for learners aged five to twelve.
Renault's commitment goes beyond infrastructure; the funding ensures a dedicated librarian for five years and empowers permanent staff to manage the library independently post this period. The company has already handed over three libraries earlier this year, supporting education in Alexandra and Soweto.
CEO Shumani Tshifularo emphasizes Renault's dedication to social change through education. "By enhancing learning environments, we aim to contribute to delivering quality universal education that provides meaningful access to society and the workplace for every child."
The library at Khauhelo Primary is a testament to Renault's dedication to social impact and transformative education, offering learners a world of knowledge, one book at a time.