17 Sep 20 News Communities South Africa

Noupoort children catch up to reading levels with wind farm funding

Coaches Gcobisa Ncapayi and Zimbini Maqina put plans in place so young learners like Asivuyise Stofile didn't fall behind on their reading because of Covid

Two dedicated literacy coaches have been using the support of their local wind farm to ensure that young learners’ reading skills don’t become a victim of South Africa’s Covid crisis.

Gcobisa Ncapayi and Zimbini Maqina are giving one-to-one sessions to 20 children in the Kwazamuxolo community of Noupoort, in the Northern Cape.

And their efforts to keep the ‘Learn Ready Literacy’ programme going throughout the lockdown meant that the youngsters were on top of their book work when classroooms reopened at the end of August.

Economic Development Manager Sandisiwe praised Gcobisa and Zimbini's "unwavering dedication"

The programme, which is funded by Noupoort Wind Farm, has been running since 2017 with the aim of bringing all Intermediate Phase Grade 4 learners up to their reading age.

Earlier this year, an assessment of 188 pupils from Ikhwezi Lokusa Primary School, Eurekaville Intermediary School and Noupoort Combined School indicated that many had literacy levels below that expected for their grade.   

Revealing her pride at the impact that she and her colleague have made on the children’s reading, Gcobisa said: “It was an amazing experience to find ways to help learners during the health pandemic, as we needed to be able to ensure their safety too. Thankfully, we were able to continue with the programme by adjusting our approach.

“I enjoy seeing them growing intellectually and emotionally during their time in my care.”

Noupoort Wind Farm pays the stipends for the two coaches through Spell It, their implementing partner. The monthly sponsorship also includes their training, coaching and mentoring, as well as literacy material for the pupils.

Paying tribute to Gcobisa  and Zimbini, Sandisiwe Mntonintshi, Economic Development Manager for Noupoort Wind Farm, said: “These two coaches have been truly amazing, having demonstrated their unwavering dedication to the children of Noupoort, despite the town’s struggle with COVID-19.”

  • Noupoort Wind Farm was developed, constructed and is now operated by Mainstream for our Africa joint venture, Lekela Power. The 80 MW plant began generating around 304,800MWh of clean energy a year for the Eskom grid in July 2016, enough to power up to 69,000 South African homes.