Library gives pupils a solid foundation

 Oranjekloof principal Mkhululi Qaba with prefects Siyabonga Kolisi, left, and Liyema Sonandi at the launch of the library.

Oranjekloof Moravian Primary School principal Mkhululi Qaba suggested that the new library, launched last week, signified the “rebirth” of the Hout Bay institution.

In the past few years, the school has faced an uncertain future with high staff turnover and questionable structures.

However, a collaboration project with Breadline Africa, the Common Good Foundation and the Western Cape Education Department initiated a year ago is now reaping handsome re-

Mr Qaba is also credited with turning around the school’s fortunes, having implemented workable structures and instilling a newfound pride in the pupils.

At the launch of the library on Friday July 28, Mr Qaba said according to the United Nations, a library contributed 22.5% to a school’s performance.

“I believe with the introduction of the library, our children will be able to perform at their full potential. It also gives the children a sense of belonging and a sense of new energy.”

He likened the library to an athlete’s starting blocks. “If you get a good start from a solid platform, you can launch yourself properly which sets you up for the rest of the race.”

Master of ceremonies and Grade 6 teacher Lizeka Rantsane emphasises that the children’s circumstances should not define their future, and the library would open doors as well as their minds.

“Our children often say they can’t go to the Hout Bay library because they are scared of the skollies on the streets.

“Now they have a library on the premises, a safe space for them. Everything is starting to shine here. Can you see the glitter?” she joked with the audience.

A full-time librarian, Kuhle Mlanjana, who was trained and worked at The Bookery, has been appointed to the library.

“This is so exciting. To see the development of the children through the library is wonderful,” she said. The Bookery has donated 4 500 books to the new library. Funding for the school’s latest addition was raised in part by pupils at the UK’s Benenden School, the alma mater of Princess Anne.

Breadline Africa director Marion Wagner said the organisation had written to the school, the UK’s last remaining school for borders, to assist, and its pupils had immediately “fallen in love” with the project.

“On World Book Day (March 3) the girls dressed as their favourite literary characters and the teachers and girls also ran on treadmills for 24 hours to raise funds for the library.

“They are going to be thrilled when they see the library,” Ms Wagner said.

Library committee chairperson Davidine Rhoda paid tribute to her team, which had gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the library became a reality. “This library will be the heartbeat of the school,” she said.

Common Good Foundation director also paid tribute to the tireless work of the library com-
mittee as well as the commitment of the school’s governing

“We wanted to monitor literacy rates at the school, which is also why there was the need for a centralised library. Previously, we had tables of books in each class-
room, which we still have, but now we also have this facility,” she

“Oranjekloof is Quintile 1, but Quintile 1 children also deserve
to have the best. Our big philosophy is to entrench a love of storytelling in the children, as storytelling is part of each of our lives.
For this reason we have to have books.”