Asemahle Ntsume

Asemahle Ntsume (19) was once enrolled at Observatory Primary School. This is where she became one of the children taking part in the Shine Literacy Hour Programme at the school. 

The Programme, as Asemahle puts it, has contributed to children’s academic success, and with its aim of helping children to read and write, it continues to ignite a passion for learning, contributing to their overall personal development of children. 

“My experience at the Shine Literacy Centre was very educational and friendly. It was a comfortable environment that enabled me to be in the correct mindset to learn and progress.” “It was the highlight of my primary school years!”

“I remember I had to attend the Programme once or twice every week and I would wish that the other days would go by fast in order for me to attend the Programme. This shows that the Centre was such a friendly environment to be around and the volunteers were so accommodating,” Asemahle recalled. 

The Programme also comes as a direct response to the issues that the South African education system is faced with, particularly the inability of children at Foundation Phase to read for meaning. Such illiteracy has negative impacts on economic development as well as individual and community well-being. 

Asemahle was fortunate enough to attend schools that nurtured her and had the resources to give her education that is better than the average child gets in South Africa. 

She is now enrolled at North West University and pursuing a Bachelor of Social Sciences. 

“Not all children get that [quality] education and are able to progress and love learning as I did. That is where the problem lies.” 

 “The government should put more effort in schools that do not have this kind of education and have more Programmes such as the Shine Literacy Hour Programme to ignite a spark in the [children] to want to learn.” 

Asemahle believes that “the schooling system should target the children from a young age so that they are guided through education for a brighter future,” and her hope for the future is simple – that the country invests and puts in more efforts to empower young people.