International Day of Education

A reflection on education

The Jesuit primary school in Mbare township in Zimbabwe is one of the most impoverished schools in the country.

The students at the school come from the neighbouring township and often from deprived and troubled families. For many of them books are a luxury that they do not enjoy at home.

At the school, the Jesuits run a programme called Happy Readers to encourage school children with poor reading skills to improve their levels of reading and to inspire them.

On World Education Day it seems appropriate to reflect on the value of books and the gift of reading that are so often taken for granted by many of us.

For the school children of Mbare, the books provided by the school represent not just their hopes for a better future, but they are also an invaluable gift for them within the context of their hardships and challenges.

A quote on education, from Roald Dahl’s Matilda

So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.