The Bible Society of South Africa recently launched a special publication, My first Bible Do and Learn Book, and My eerste Bybel Doen en Leer Boek in Afrikaans. This booklet forms part of a basic literacy project aimed especially at pre-primary school children and ground phase learners. The material can, however, be used for any age group where literacy is lacking.
The material was thoroughly tested in the Western Cape last year and is now ready to be made available countrywide. The test phase showed that besides promoting basic literacy, this booklet also promote Bible literacy.
The Bible Society became aware of thousands of children in poorer areas who perhaps attend day care centres when the parents work, but are not exposed to literacy at all. Many of these children do not have the privilege of attending Grade R (reception phase) and are already behind when they start Grade 1. When one compares these children's circumstances to those of a child from an affluent home who is exposed to some 400 hours of literacy before he or she starts school; it is evident that many marginalised children start their school careers at a severe disadvantage.
After thorough research the Bible Society decided to develop Bible-based literacy material. The material is based on the Do and Learn Method, developed by Dr Rose Botha of Ghoené Marketing, which was graciously made available to the Bible Society. The booklet engages virtually all five senses to develop basic reading and writing.
The programme does not require highly-trained teachers. Any person who can read can, with the help of a manual and flashcards supplied with the booklet, teach others to master these basic skills.
“The task of the Bible Society is community orientated and with this project we want to make even more of a difference in various South African communities,” says Rev Gerrit Kritzinger, Chief Executive Officer of the Bible Society of South Africa. “Not only can this booklet contribute to the reading and writing abilities of our people, but children can begin discovering the Bible at an early age.”
A follow-up booklet in both English and Afrikaans is being developed and the Bible Society hopes to make it available later this year.
The booklets are available free of charge for use in schools or by groups who cannot afford it, and can also be bought from the Bible Society at just R3,50 a copy.
~ 28 January 2013 ~