8 out of 10 Grade 4s can’t read. How will they find jobs one day? They won't

pixabay.com (2018)

Also read: "The science of private schools in SA (and their near 100% Matric pass rate)"

Unless we can improve the skills base of our population we’re not going to see big increases in employment.

Dr Nic Spaull, University of Stellenbosch

Kids are falling at the first hurdle… unless we fix this it doesn’t matter what we do higher up in the system.

Dr Nic Spaull, University of Stellenbosch

South Africa’s foundation phase (grade 0 plus grade 1 to 3) education system is utterly dysfunctional, a fact repeatedly linked to the country’s perennial skills shortages and entrenched unemployment.

Ray White (in for Bruce Whitfield on The Money Show) interviewed Dr Nic Spaull, an Education Economist at the University of Stellenbosch.

Some statistics shared by Spaull in a recent article:

  • A mere 2 out of 10 Grade-4 students can read for meaning.

  • Only 4 out of 10 Grade-5 students can do the most basic maths.

  • Only 51% of the 512 700 students who entered Grade-1 in 2007 reached Matric.

South Africa has the worst youth unemployment rate (52.8%) in the world, according to the Spectator Index.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and scroll down for more quotes from it).

It’s undeniable that it [dysfunctional foundation phase education] is definitely one of the main drivers [of youth unemployment].

Dr Nic Spaull, University of Stellenbosch

Teaching children to read is not rocket science…

Dr Nic Spaull, University of Stellenbosch

To Government’s credit, they are open to engaging… I’ve had meetings… everyone is wanting to solve the problems…

Dr Nic Spaull, University of Stellenbosch

The President can’t promise jobs… but we can reform our basic education system.

Dr Nic Spaull, University of Stellenbosch

There is evidence… children that drop out before Matric; the cause of that is a weak foundation.

Dr Nic Spaull, University of Stellenbosch

The 400 000 kids that drop out before Matric… those are the people contributing to youth unemployment…

Dr Nic Spaull, University of Stellenbosch

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