Sunday, October 25, 2020
Education And Training

Extraordinary plans to teach literacy during COVID


Two dedicated literacy coaches put a plan in place to continue helping young learners during the
school COVID-19 lockdown period, to make sure that they didn’t fall behind on their reading.
With the backing of their parents, twenty children in the Kwazamuxolo community of Noupoort have
one-on-one coaching from Gcobisa Ncapayi and Zimbini Maqina, who are implementing the ‘Learn
Ready Literacy’ programme in this Northern Cape town.

The programme, which is funded by Noupoort Wind Farm, has been running since 2017, with the
aim of bringing all Grade 4 learners to the appropriate reading age. A total of 188 learners from Ikhwezi Lokusa Primary School, Eurekaville Intermediary School and Noupoort Combined School
were assessed earlier this year, so that a literacy plan could be devised based on the outcome of the assessments, which indicated that many of the children weren’t reading at the level of their grade.

“It was an amazing experience to find ways to help learners during the health pandemic, as we
needed to be able to ensure their safety too. Thankfully, we were able to continue with the
programme by adjusting our approach,” explained Gcobisa Ncapayi, who is proud of the impact that
she and Zimbini Maqina have made on the children in their community. “I enjoy seeing them
growing intellectually and emotionally during their time in my care,” she said.

Noupoort Wind Farm pays the stipends for the two coaches through Spell It, which is their
implementing partner. The monthly sponsorship also includes literacy material for the Grade 4
learners as well as training, coaching and mentoring for the reading coaches.
“These two coaches have been truly amazing, having demonstrated their unwavering dedication to
the children of Noupoort, despite the town’s struggle with COVID-19,” concluded Sandisiwe
Mntonintshi, Economic Development Manager for Noupoort Wind Farm.

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