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Yes, we can!. Libraries for South African Schools A project of South Africa Partners. South Africa: 350+ Years of Resistance. First settlers arrive in 1652 and the process of disenfranchising the indigenous population began immediately Violent appropriation of land

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yes we can
Yes, we can!

Libraries for South African Schools

A project of South Africa Partners

south africa 350 years of resistance
South Africa: 350+ Years of Resistance

First settlers arrive in 1652 and the process of disenfranchising the indigenous population began immediately

Violent appropriation of land

Laws enacted to segregate and limit access of the majority population

Land Act

Group Areas Act

Pass Laws

Immorality Act

apartheid becomes law
Apartheid Becomes Law
  • Election of the National Party in 1948
  • Enactment of Apartheid legislation
    • Further segregation and loss of opportunity
    • Bantu Education
    • Repressive Laws – i.e. 90 Day Act
  • Imprisonment and banishment of Leaders
  • Years of steady erosion of human rights
bantu education
Bantu Education

“There is no place for [the Bantu] in the European community above the level of certain forms of labour ... What is the use of teaching the Bantu child mathematics when it cannot use it in practice? That is quite absurd. Education must train people in accordance with their opportunities in life, according to the sphere in which they live.”

- Henrik Verwoerd, Minister of Education, 1958

"We shall reject the whole system of Bantu Education whose aim is to reduce us, mentally and physically, into 'hewers of wood and drawers of water'."Soweto Students Representative Council, 1976

ending apartheid
Ending Apartheid

June 1976 – Soweto uprisings ignited new wave of activism – call to make South Africa ‘ungovernable’

International solidarity

Divestment and Sanctions

Free Mandela Campaign

the road to freedom
The Road to Freedom
  • Secret negotiations begin in 1985
  • Nelson Mandela released from prison in 1990
  • First democratic elections held April 1994
  • Nelson Mandela elected president
  • The fourth national election took place in April 2009
building the new south africa
Building the New South Africa
  • After the 1994 elections, South Africa faced the challenge of integrating the former White, Colored, Indian, and African departments of government.
  • Provinces that included former homelands had the added burden of integrating those departments as well.
  • The Province of the Eastern Cape, with two homelands, integrated 6 separate departments into one unified Department of Education
status of education in sa
Status of Education in SA

The most recent government report:

# of overcrowded schools has fallen from 51% (1999) to 42% (2006)

School electrification has risen from 11,174 (1996) to 20,713 (2006)

Schools without water has dropped from 8,823 (1996) to 3,152 (2006)

Schools without on-site toilets dropped from 3,265 (1996) to 1,532 (2006)

status of education in sa1
Status of Education in SA

Current areas of debate

Mother-tongue instruction; when is English introduced?

Outcomes Based Education; how to be successful when the tools needed are not available

No-fee Schools; ensuring these schools are centers of excellence

Instituting Standards for School Principals; setting qualifications and course work

south africa partners
South Africa Partners
  • Grew out of Anti-Apartheid movement
  • Strives to build two-way exchanges based on:
    • mutual engagement and participation
    • openness to learn from each other
    • mutual respect, trust and open-mindedness
  • Prioritizes partnerships that strengthen community, build institutional capacity, and foster local leadership
finding ways to support education reform
Finding Ways to Support Education Reform
  • Libraries for South African Schools was established to:
    • Increase access to school libraries and improve collections
    • Empower teachers with knowledge and skills that will enable them to plan and manage effective school library systems
    • Provide financial resources to purchase books and other materials
    • Stimulate the South African book industry and expand the number of children’s books published in the country
    • Strengthen advocacy for the strategic importance of school libraries.
libraries for sa schools
Libraries for SA Schools

Training of Teacher/Librarians

*Partnership with the University of Fort Hare to train Teacher/Librarians

*Linking US and South African schools; providing a forum for ongoing contact and exchange of ideas and strategies

*Annual Education Tour to South Africa

Developing Infrastructure

*Grants to schools to purchase needed bookshelves, library furniture, relevant books and resource materials

Promoting Literacy through South African Children’s Books

*Ensuring the availability of appropriate children’s books through the Masifunde Sonke: Let Us Read Together initiative

the melani school library project
The Melani School Library Project
  • Cluster of 11 rural primary schools identified by the E Cape Dept. of Ed.
  • Project designed in partnership with the Univ. of Ft. Hare
the melani cluster
The Melani Cluster
  • Melani Cluster schools serve 1636 learners
  • Town of Alice, has a municipal library, but lacks the necessary

resources to make it

fully useful to its patrons


Pilot Project Training Modules

Thus far, the Project’s

curriculum has focused on three

main areas:

  • Introduction to librarianship
  • Collection development and maintenance
  • Preparation of library materials and stock
creating new opportunities
Creating New Opportunities
  • In 2004, the IBBY Conference was held in Cape Town South Africa
  • Librarians from Cambridge, MA used the opportunity to visit the Melani Cluster
  • They raised funds so that 4 of the teacher/librarians to attend the conference
  • They advocated for the Melani Cluster to be a beneficiary of the IBBY Conference book donation
  • Development of a training curriculum
  • 11 teacher/librarians have received two rounds of training in basic library management and integration of library materials into the curriculum.
  • Teachers and librarians have received over 2500 books as well as small grants to purchase additional books, shelving and other supplies
future of the lsas project
Future of the LSAS Project
  • Have identified cluster schools in two additional education districts
  • Also envision sustainable sister-school partnerships between U.S. and S.African schools
masifunde sonke let us read together
Masifunde Sonke: Let Us Read Together
  • Making leading South African children’s books available in the U.S.
  • With each purchase, a second book is donated to an under-resourced school in South Africa
establishing a culture of reading
Establishing a Culture of Reading
  • Response to lack of library resources in LSAS Project schools
  • 30 children’s books written by South African authors and published in South Africa
  • For every book that is purchased from the Masifunde Sonke Project in the US, another copy is donated to an under-resourced school in South Africa
masifunde sonke house parties
Masifunde Sonke House Parties
  • House parties in U.S. generate sales of South African published books.
“Out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud.” Nelson Mandela at his inauguration as President, May 10, 1994