How many people does it take to change a light bulb in a rural South African school? None. Because there’s probably no electricity. And why do you need light, anyway, if there are no books to read or lessons to learn? In any case, if you really need light, there’s plenty coming through the hole in the classroom roof. Welcome to the reality of education for many of SA’s rural children. Things that urban schools take for granted — like books, pencils, electricity, desks, running water and sanitation — are mere dreams for some of their remote counterparts. Provincial education budgets are spent mainly where the big populations are. But what of distant schools serving rural communities? If you’re a child living on a Zululand mountainside, in a Transkei valley or in a dusty Kalahari kraal, chances are that your school will receive only budget leftovers. It truly is a case of out of sight, out of mind. But it doesn’t have to be so. Since 1998, Rally to Read has created the opportunity to ...

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