Literacy Club
#thinking_is_a_humanright #questioning_society #critical_literacy #unako
Today’s session was an emotional roller coaster for me. The session took off with excitement and happiness, it climaxed to being tearful/emotional and then it came down again to laughter. I was excited and happy when the children shared their questions and views from their communities on questions they were asking. Their questions were mind-boggling, because I didn’t expect that level of abstract thinking from them. Sivuyisiwe Foji.
Mind-boggling Question 1.
Chuma (grade 5): My question was, ‘why do whites live in big houses and we Blacks in small houses?’ I spoke to an old neighbour and they said it was because whites have money. Sivuyisiwe is a 3rd year NMU student doing BA Psychology. She reflects on what transpired on our session with our grade 5s literacy club members in Charles Duna on the Wednesday of March 14. In the said session, the members were reporting on their experience of discussing their questions with people from their communities. Whereas in a previous session, facilitators asked members to write questions they are asking themselves about anything in the world. They then assist them with grammar in any language the child had chosen to write in and discuss each member’s question to prepare them for dialogue with their communities.
Mind-boggling Question 2, 3 & 4.
Lindiswa (grade 5): I was talking about this with my granny and aunt. ‘Why do people judge others because of the things they are doing?’ My aunt’s view was that people are jealous and I felt sad that people are jealous.
Lindiswa(grade 5): I was in my room with grandma thinking to myself, why do people always say vows when they get married and promise not to break their marriages but usually break their promises anyway? Granny said that some people are just untrustworthy. Siphenathi: Why are we not rats? (laughter)
I was deeply touched by the questions and answers of this one child [Lindiswa]. And I could feel that her questions came from deep down. I tried to hold back the tears and to contain my emotions. The session made me realise that children take in what happens around them. They need to be listened to and given a chance to express themselves. Sivuyisiwe Foji. We encourage our literacy club members to question their society to understand it and open the possibility of transforming it, maybe later when they are more empowered to. Also, members will further explore their questions in creative writing by writing their own stories.
Olwethu is a 2nd year student in Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in NMU. She had this to say about session at Henry Nginza Primary:
For the first time in my life I actually did something that I love. We always just do what has to be done, not to please ourselves but to please life itself. It was the best experience. I discovered it takes courage to facilitate a discussion with primary school children, just to get them to give each other attention is a whole journey. But for me it was pleasurable.
We plan sessions with the children (literacy club members) to activate their agency in a mutual learning process where every member is responsible for the enrichment of the session. Members choose a book of their choice to read for enjoyment in one session and shares what they like or did not about the book in another. And with the facilitator, ask each other questions about the books they have read.
A member, Linamandla, said that she liked her book because it is about helping each other as people. We went on to speak about the nature of helping others and I asked them why it is important to help another person. I got the most amazing responses. They said it is important to help another person when that person needs help and also raised reciprocity as another reason why it is important to help another person. In closing we asked them to write down questions about this theme to ask other members of the community from the areas they live in. And Olwethu could not close her mouth about her experience in the discussions with her group:
Its actually a very awe-inspiring experience because we get to realize how intelligent these learners are. I simply cannot wait for next week and I am looking forward to this year. Big ups to Unako!
#follow_your_passion #Unako #critical_literacy #thinking_with_our_communities Olwethu Retjie