Engen Refinery celebrates International Literacy Day with mobile library donation

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Engen Refinery opened up a world of imagination and knowledge for scores of local learners with a donation of eight (8) mobile libraries to Durban East Primary School. 


“As we celebrate International Literacy Day on Tuesday, 8 September, we are reminded of the fact that literacy is a human right and the foundation of all learning,” says Engen’s Group CSI and Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Mntu Nduvane.


According to a report commissioned by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), 130 million children are in primary school but have not achieved the minimum benchmarks for learning. Almost 120 million have spent little or no time in a classroom, including 57 million youngsters who are not attending school.


Nduvane says education is a critical priority for Engen. “This is evident in the programmes we support. Children are our future, and we are trying to play a part in ensuring that they can face tomorrow with confidence. Through this donation to Durban East Primary School, we hope to give their learners a chance to rediscover the joys of reading.”


The library units will be situated around the school. Each unit contains 200 books chosen for their appropriateness to the different grades in partnership with the school.


Durban East Primary is situated in Austerville/Wentworth, and serves a largely impoverished community. Currently the school has 1052 registered learners who are educated by 29 teachers.


“Having this mobile library will promote and encourage reading, a fundamental educational tool. Pupils who don’t have access to a public library close to home will benefit greatly, as the school’s library is readily available to all,” says Ms. Timm, the Principal of Durban East Primary School.


“Due to a large percentage (80%) of our school population being second language learners, it has been challenging to promote and enhance our literacy level to an acceptable academic standard without a fully-functional library,” she adds.


Adds Nduvane: “Not only is literacy a basic human right and a fundamental building block for learning, it is also a personal empowerment tool and a catalyst for social and global progress. As such, education continues to be a critical priority for Engen.”