Pupils from the poor Boitumelo Secondary School, next to Sebokeng, have been given access to a world of books following the handing over of a new library by the MEC Bopape- Molebatsi recently.
Thapelo Marumo (14) a grade 10 pupil at Boitumelo Secondary School “said I am happy for the new library. It means no more travelling long distances to do my school project and for my study purposes”.
Boitumelo, as with many communities in the Sebokeng area, are ravaged by poverty, unemployment and high level of illiteracy. With the construction of a new library, life will change for the better as more residents will have access visit to books thus improve their knowledge and learning skills.
This library is well built with phase brick walls, decorated and fitted air conditioning, wooden laminated floors, shelving, a blackboard, tables and chairs, as well as more than 2400 brand new books. It boosts a kids section which is used for the early child development centres for their mental stimulation. The activity room fitted with the computers for the learners to use for their school research and projects and variety of books to read.
The Emfuleni Local Municipality's executive mayor, Greta Hlongwane, made a passion plea to the community to refrain from burning the public infrastructure during their protests. “It makes no sense when you destroy your own property in demanding other services”, she pleaded. She concluded by requesting the community to take good care and protect the library from any form of vandalism.
The speaker of the day, the MEC of Public Infrastructure, Bopape- Molebatsi, emphasised the message to the community that “Don't burn the libraries, the clinics, the schools and other public facilities because they are build for your own community development”.
She went further to highlight the need to develop a culture of reading. “This culture of reading and learning need to become a habit to everybody, both youth and adults”, she said.
The recent Stats SA survey done recently shows that in the Emfuleni municipality, only about thirty two percent of the young people have matriculation qualifications. This goes to translate that some of the school learners fail to complete or take their education beyond that level. This situation is portraying a community that is in dire strain.
“Education is the rock upon which to build flourishing communities. it is through education, that as government and the business, we can turn around the negative socio- economic challenges faced by the Sedibeng region” she pointed out.
After the speeches Boitumelo secondary school choir entertained the people with their sweet voices. Molebatsi Bopape flanked by Greta Hlongwane (ELM executive mayor) and Shaka Radebe (MMC: SRASLIC), Seisa Malimabe(ward cllr) and different officials delegates, all joined to cut the red ribbon to mark official opening of Boitumelo public library.
Photos from this event available here.
By: Thabiso Radebe