October 2023.

Tsholofelo Maeza, from Kanana, is one of seven learner assistants benefitting from a learner reading programme, which aims to assist in reducing the gap that learners experience in school, especially as a result of Covid-19. At 31 years old, she is pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher, with this skills-development initiative providing her with a unique opportunity to gain practical experience in a classroom environment.

Maeza expressed her gratitude for the programme, stating, “This programme has helped me a lot because I am studying to become a teacher, and it has given me the opportunity to be in the environment of teaching and learning.”

During her sessions with learners at Reahola Primary School, Maeza focused on reading comprehension, pronunciation, and spelling. The recent provision of reading hubs has further enhanced her efforts, allowing learners to borrow books and improve their reading skills by summarising and discussing what they have read.

“I am committed to helping learners read better and improve their reading skills. My plan now is to continue pursuing a Bachelor of Education in the intermediate phase and to continue teaching learners,” she said.

These learner assistants are placed in four primary schools within the areas of Kanana and Kgakala, in the Matlosana and Maquassi Hills Local Municipalities, respectively.

This programme is benefitting grade 4 learners in Atamela and Reahola primary schools in Kanana, as well as Thusang and Koketso primary schools in Kgakala. The trained learner assistants implement different learning activities to develop the vocabulary of the learners and improve their written language. The assistants are supervised and mentored by READ trainers and have an opportunity to study an accredited Professional Development Course.

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