60% of pupils can't read by end of Grade 4

Stellenbosch University's Research on Socioeconomic Policy (ReSEP) Group released a reports which find that about 60% of school pupils in South Africa cannot read by the end of Grade 4.

The report finds that these pupils do not fully engage with the curriculum and fall further behind the curriculum even as they are promoted into higher grades.

Analysing the findings of these reports, Luzuko Sidimba, Eastern Cape head of Equal Education, says that there is a serious need to look at how languages are taught in most of South African schools, which affects literacy levels among pupils.

Listen to the conversation below:

In Grade 4, that's when learners (in previously disadvantaged schools) start to be taught in English. If English was taught from Grade R, I'm sure we would have a different literacy level

Luzuko Sidimba, Eastern Cape head of Equal Education

If learners at a basic level of education cannot read, the question is when they are tested again in Grade 7 or Grade 8, would they be able to read for meaning then?

Luzuko Sidimba, Eastern Cape head of Equal Education

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