Solving South Africa's literacy crisis

42 years after the Soweto Uprising, we have South African children scoring below the international literacy benchmark.

Research indicates very poor reading abilities and in December 2017, results from the PILL literacy research study found that 70% of South African Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning in any language.

READ: SADGT: The P.L.A.Y program is combating illiteracy in SA using games

Speaking to Azania Mosaka, Sven Glittenberg and Lucille Moleko take a look at solutions towards improving the country's literacy levels. They are hosting a conversation on 16 June at Thaba Jabula High School.

Glittenberg says the problem is not with the children or the parents, it is within the school system which doesn't respond to their innate abilities and their needs.

While some households may not be able to prepare their children to be successful in English, the school system is vastly underperforming its role in trying to bridge that gap. And it doesn't recognise the language abilities and skills that the children do come with.

Sven Glittenberg, teacher

Moleko says when you look at the education system there are many things that need to be done - some short-term and some long-term.

She adds that by the time learners are in Grade three, they should be fluid in their mother tongue, however, by the end of that grade, they are not fluid in any language.

Listen below to the full interview:


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