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The Mobireadathon Competition finals 2023 were successfully hosted in collaboration with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). Mobireadathon is a digital literacy and reading development program aimed at introducing high school youth to digital reading and writing platforms available to enable indulge in reading. Mobireadathon allows learners to read stories from smart devices such as mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, and other smart digital devices. Through these digital devices, learners can download stories from Fundza APP and read the stories at any time of their convenience, 24/7. Other stories were obtained from a book titled: “CoJ senior citizens write; a collection of Stories from CoJ Citizens” (published by UJ in collaboration with CoJLIS).

The Mobireadathon program is the first of its kind for CoJ libraries, if not in the province or the country. For the first time, CoJ libraries run a reading development program and competition with High Schools. The majority of the reading development programs CoJ libraries have involves primary schools. As a result, when learners progress to high schools, they do not get to participate in any reading development programs organized by CoJ libraries.

Therefore, it was crucial for city libraries to come up with new programs to meet the needs of the high school leaners. The Mobireadathon program was conceptualized as a suitable reading development intervention for high schools. In the digital era, whereby digital literacy skills are the prerequisites for survival, development, and competitiveness; MobiReadathon was conceptualized and earmarked as a catalyst to address digital literacy to empower high school learners with digital skills as well as reading and writing skills. In addressing the digital skills gap amongst high school learners, CoJ libraries are working in collaboration and partnership with industry captains such as UJ; to fulfill the digital literacy, reading, and writing development mandate for high schools mandate.

The school knockout levels for the competition started in February 2023, whereby 15 schools were targeted to but ultimately 54 schools with over 500 learners participated in the competition. After the knockout stages; 0nly 11 schools; 110 learners participated in the finals which took place on 22 June 2023 at UJ. These 11 schools from all City regions (A-G) battled out for the ultimate first prize and the pride to be the first school to scoop the prestigious award for the inaugural MobiReadathon competition.

Schools that participated in the 2023 finals were Noordgesig Secondary, Protea Glen High, Thlatlogang Secondary, Pace High, Randfontein High, Sgodphola Secondary, Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, Midrand High, Masibambane College, Kensington Secondary, and East Ridge Christian School.

RANDFONTEIN HIH SCHOOL LEARNERS : WINNERS OF THE MOBIREADATHON 2023 COMPETITIONRandfontein High School won the 1st prize; followed by Pace High, which scooped 2nd prize, and Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy obtained 3rd position.  Pick n Pay School Club sponsored the prizes and gift vouchers for all the finalist learners as well as goodies for the educators. Each learner received a certificate for participation as well as a medal.  The program was also supported by other stakeholders such as the National Library of South Africa (NLSA).

The Mobireadathon finals are the realization of COJLIS to cooperate with different stakeholders to further the mandate of creating and nurturing a reading culture.


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