4 out 5 Grade Four learners have poor reading comprehension skills

The latest Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) report has found that 78% of Grade 4 learners in South Africa are unable to read for meaning.

This international comparison study measured literacy levels of Grade 4 learners in 50 countries between the years 2011 to 2016.

Learners from 294 schools in South Africa were tested in any of the 11 official languages they are most comfortable with.

Stephen Grootes spoke to head of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Centre at Wits University, Professor Brahm Fleisch.

Fleisch says teaching methods need to be addressed.

There is a large body of evidence that it is about what teachers are doing in the classroom which is largely responsible for the problem we are having and we need to address not only the teaching methods but also the teaching material available to those teachers.

Professor Brahm Fleisch, head of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Centre at Wits

The syllabus is not necessarily the issue, it's the way that teachers are enacting the syllabus.

Professor Brahm Fleisch, head of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Centre at Wits

There is no doubt that teachers don't have the requisite skill, they don't have an insight into how to teach reading effectively and that is the legacy of the former teacher training colleges.

Professor Brahm Fleisch, head of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Centre at Wits

He says there is a significant commitment to ensuring that early grade reading becomes a national priority.

There are key players particularly the private sector and government that recognise that they cannot improve the education system without fundamentally addressing the first three years of schooling. We have the knowledge and commitment.

Professor Brahm Fleisch, head of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Centre at Wits

Click on the link below to hear the strides being made to address the matter....


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