Bible Society Launches New Literacy Guides
The Bible Society of South Africa has launched its literacy material in Siswati and isiNdebele.
Chief executive officer Rev Dirk Gevers quoted the late UN secretary general Kofi Annan, who said “literacy is a bridge from misery to hope”.
Rev Gevers said the Bible Society wants to help South Africans, especially children, to cross that bridge.
“We, however, also want to help children to discover the true hope at an early age through the message of the Bible.”
The Siswati material launch took place at the Kanyamazane Community Hall in Kanyamazane, near Mbombela (Nelspruit), and the isiNdebele material at the Eric Jiyane Community Hall in Mhluzi, Middelburg.
Among those at the events were members of the Mpumalanga Education Department and the Pan-South African Language, foundation phase teachers, and Church and community leaders.
Dr JE Ndlovu delivered the keynote address at the Siswati event, and Dr JM Khumalo was the speaker at the isiNdebele launch.
The most important guests at both events were, however, the 300 Grade R, 1 and 2 learners in the area. Each child received a free set of the literacy booklets.
The Bible Society worked with qualified mother-tongue speakers to help with development, translation and editing.
Dr Sikelela Dlamini and Manesi Kekana did the development and translation of the Siswati material, and Nokuthula Ndlovu the editing.
Vukile Masango was responsible for the translation and development of the isiNdebele material, and Rev Msuswa Mabena for the editing.
The literacy material has been available already in English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa, Sesotho, isiZulu, Sepedi, Tshivenda and Xitsonga. Siswati and isiNdebele have now been added, and the Setswana literacy material will be launched in October.
Teaching is made easy through the use of colourful illustrations, icons, flashcards and activities such as reading, writing, numeracy, drawing and singing. A teacher’s manual is included.
The Bible Society says any person who can read, can, with the help of the materials, teach others to master basic skills.
nFor more information, contact the nearest Bible House, phone 021 910 8757 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org