12 September 2018
In a recent report by Students between Grade 1 – 3 were tested across the country in all 11 official languages. Each student or school was tested on their first language or the language the student was most familiar. So, whateverwas the most common language at the particular school, was what those learners were tested on.
Now, let’s look at some of the biggest takeaways from the report.
8 of 10 SA children cannot read
Arguably the most worrying, the report found that more than 78% of South African Grade 4 students are UNABLE to read for meaning.
South Africa scored last out of 50 countries for reading:SA children scored the lowest mark in the latest testing done for the 2016 report.
No real improvement since 2011:While the report shows that there was a significant improvement from 2006 to 2011, things stagnated after that. Over the last five years, there has been NO improvement to reading scores.
To make things even worse, the tiny percentage of SA kids reaching the high reading benchmark has also dropped. In 2011, 3% of Grade 4 students reached it. In 2016, it was just 2%.
Our overcrowded classrooms play a major role in adding to this reading crisis. The average number of learners is a class is approximately 45 to 50+ learners. Educators are unable to give learners the necessary individual attention to assist weak learners with reading challenges.
It is important that parents assist learners who have reading challenges at a young age. Parents must give learners the necessary support and encourage learners to read on a daily basis.