Namibian President Hage Geingob presents to the public the commemorative banknote issued by the Bank of Namibia in Windhoek, Namibia, March 21, 2020. Namibia on Saturday launched a commemorative thirty Namibian dollars note symbolizing the reigns of their three presidents to commemorate the country's 30 years of independence. (Xinhua/Jacobina Mouton)
Namibian President Hage Geingob presents to the public the commemorative banknote issued by the Bank of Namibia in Windhoek, Namibia, March 21, 2020. Namibia on Saturday launched a commemorative thirty Namibian dollars note symbolizing the reigns of their three presidents to commemorate the country's 30 years of independence. (Xinhua/Jacobina Mouton)

by Ndalimpinga Iita

Ruider Swartbooi, a grade-six learner at a primary school in the Namibian capital Windhoek immersed herself in books. She aspires to become a great leader and an outstanding learner as she progresses through life. Reading is a gateway to achieving her aspirations.

“I learn many lessons from the storybooks which help me shape my leadership skills,” she said on Tuesday.

Apart from reading for leisure, Swartbooi said that she also learns valuable lessons from books.

Additionally, Swartbooi said that her most significant motivation for reading was to improve her knowledge and pass with good grades.

Swartbooi is amongst thousands of learners observing the national readathon week, marked annually during September to promote and instill a culture of reading.

Anna Nghipondoka, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture said national readathon week aims to foster the love of reading among learners, to nurture a reading culture in the country and for maintaining high educational standards.

“Through reading, the learners can develop creative and analytical thinking, which in turn will enable them to grow in confidence and master competencies that are necessary for lifelong learning,” she said.

Moreover, the world’s economy has become increasingly knowledge-based, and the country has made literacy among young children a priority.

More learners are observing and embracing the week observance. For primary school learner, Neyo from Eros Primary School in Windhoek, she sees reading as a way to enjoy time with her friends in the library.

“I like reading with my friends. I am also reading a lot this week because I want to improve my language skills,” she said on Tuesday.

According to Nghipondoka, the weekly activities at schools will be held under strict COVID-19 hygiene and safety measures.

Meanwhile, besides observing World Health Organization protocols and implementing the COVID-19 preventative measures, schools have also incorporated COVID-19 content into the readathon.

“The aim is to ensure that learners learn more about COVID-19, in theory, and practice. This would go a long way in curbing its spread,” said Gerard Vries, the deputy executive director for Lifelong Learning, Arts and Culture.

The national readathon week is being observed under the theme ‘Read Namibia: Know Your Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Make the World a Better Place for Everyone.’

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