Through Volkswagen Group South Africa’s (VWSA) ongoing partnership with the local education sector, a group of 10 teachers from Kariega (formerly Uitenhage) have become the first graduates of a new university course aimed at improving literacy teaching at foundation phase level.
The 10 teachers were recently awarded an Advanced Certificate in Foundation Phase Literacy Teaching from Rhodes University, during the university’s 2021 graduation ceremonies. They were: Nonkuthalo Mbengo (who graduated with distinction), Ntombizanele Jack, Kholeka Xakwe, Nandipha Matsepe, Zuziwe Jobo, Nomakhaya Bixa-Tayi, Zoliswa Maseti, Tembisa Ngxoweni, Matsiliso Sehloboko, and Neliswa Kala.
The two-year certificate course is the first of its kind in South Africa, and was developed by Funda Wande, a non-profit organisation focusing on literacy teaching from Grade 1 to Grade 3 level – as the majority of South Africa’s learners are not taught to read with understanding in this phase.
The course is one part of VWSA’s longstanding partnership with Funda Wande. In 2019 VWSA contributed R2-million towards developing both the university course and a pilot project to offer video-based training in isiXhosa and English Additional Language, to teachers in the Eastern Cape.
VWSA remains committed to eradicating illiteracy and has also established literacy centres at five schools in the Kariega district: James Ntungwana, Vuba, Noninzi Luzipho, Ntlemeza and Mngcunube Primary Schools. All the teachers who graduated from the Advanced Certificate course are staff at these schools.
“I would like to congratulate all the graduates on this encouraging achievement,” said Nonkqubela Maliza, Director for Corporate and Government Affairs at VWSA. “The ability to read and write for meaning is the gateway to all learning, and the foundation for all future success. This makes teaching learners to read and write one of the most important responsibilities of teachers in the early phase. Our intention is to support and encourage teachers to prioritise and discharge this responsibility as best they can.”
Caption: Front, L – R: Matsiliso Sehloboko (James Ntungwana Primary School) and Vernon Naidoo (VW Community Trust). Back, L – R: Zoliswa Maseti (Vuba Primary School), Nkosinathi Clay (VW Community Trust) and Zuziwe Jobo (Ntlemeza Primary School).