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Joburg Library Service launches digital literacy competition

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 21 Feb 2024
The City of Johannesburg is encouraging learners to read both the printed books and the online books in the 4IR era. (Photo source: GDE Twitter page)
The City of Johannesburg is encouraging learners to read both the printed books and the online books in the 4IR era. (Photo source: GDE Twitter page)

The City of Johannesburg (COJ) Information and Library Service is launching the second MobiReadathon Reading Competition for high school pupils, with the theme “Online Safety”.

In a statement, the city’s Information and Library Service says MobiReadathon is a reading development and digital literacy programme aimed at introducing high school pupils to reading online and the productive use of mobile devices for learning.

Learners register using the website www.cojelearning.org.za, download pdf stories or read them online, and answer quiz questions to test their understanding.

The winners are selected according to their quiz answers and the time taken to complete the quizzes.

According to COJ, MobiReadathon was successfully implemented in 2023 where over 50 high schools around Gauteng participated with more than 400 pupils. It was presented at the 2022 Taiwan Reading Festival, and also won the 2023 BCX Digital Innovation Award under the Public Sector category.

In expanding the competition to other provinces, Joburg Libraries are collaborating with 19 municipal library services from eight provinces who have committed to introducing over 150 high schools to the competition using the Joburg Libraries website as a central platform for free.

This national competition will include English articles and stories with internet safety themes as part of the Africa Online Safety campaign by Joburg libraries. Other stories will be taken from African Folklore and Senior Citizen’s true stories.

COJ notes that the competition will not only promote reading development but also empower high school learners with tips on how to navigate digital platforms and the internet safely.

The competition will run as a digital reading campaign for the first phase from February until 25 April 2024.

Semi-finalists will be selected from all participating provinces and the high school with the highest number of participants will win a prize representing their province.

For the second phase, the top-performing Grade 8s will be selected and allocated new stories to read in preparation for finals on 13 June 2024.

Each municipality will host its finals in June, some of the prizes will be sponsored by the Africa Online Fund for all participating municipalities as part of the conditions of the grant to promote online safety through reading and for expansion to other regions. Pick n Pay School Club is also one of the sponsors for the schools.

MMC for community development in the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Lubabalo Magwentshu, urges pupils to embrace technology.

“I encourage learners to read both the printed books and the online books in the 4IR era and to participate in this innovative MobiReadathon competition. Reading in different formats exposes learners to diverse perspectives, ideas, and cultures, broadening their understanding of the world around them, especially in the digital economy where learning is also happening online.

“It is also important for libraries to empower learners with digital skills that can help them use technology productively for reading and learning. That is part of the vision for the city to develop smart citizens.”

Click here for more details.

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