Learning aids for the young to enhance culture of reading

2016-05-05 06:00
Angie Motshekga, the minister of Basic Education, Cengiwe Jiya, Grade R teacher, and Grade R learners at Masiphumelele Primary School, in Khayelitsha, on Friday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

Angie Motshekga, the minister of Basic Education, Cengiwe Jiya, Grade R teacher, and Grade R learners at Masiphumelele Primary School, in Khayelitsha, on Friday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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The Department of Education has has revealed a kit for Grade Rss as an intervention to change the low levels of reading culture. The kit was handed-over to Masiphumelele Primary School in Khayelitsha last Friday.

Angie Motshekga, the Minister of Basic Education, was there, together with Grow Learning Company, an early learning firm, and the Western Cape Education Departmen

Motshekga said the Early Childhood Development (ECD) is one of the focus areas for the department to ensure that the quality of education is improved.

“Only five percent of South Africans are advanced readers. 85 percent are non readers. We have a major problem as the country. The reading culture is completely too low. The quality of programs that we have is also a major problem. We also have a problem of under qualified teachers,” she said.

Motshekga also said all the evaluation reports made recently are showing that her department is facing “problems” and that they are in the process of changing that.

She and the children made their own stories based on the pictures they saw on the equipment during the event.

The Read to Lead campaign, which is a nationwide public effort to instill reading, was launched in July 2015 by the department and it will run until 2019.

The interactive reading kits are bags with clear PVC pockets that can hang on classroom wall, and have early childhood development tools and aids to make reading interactive and fun.

Each card has six Grade R picture story books together with 48 vocabulary cards, wooden story books, story cards, foam dice, interactive posters and charts, as well as voice pipes.

They will be distributed to 150 public schools in the eight education districts of the province.

Brenda Simani-Phike, the school principal, said her aim is to turn the school into a “centre of learning” and to ensure that it becomes the best school in the area.

She also appealed to Motshekga to build extra classes because some classes are full.

Annerie Dresselhaus, founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Grow Learning Company, said promoting reading will influence children positively.

“There is nothing more heart-breaking than a child who cannot ready properly. A literacy deficit hampers children’s potential, impacts their ability to learn, and seriously affects their future outcomes. We are participating in government’s Read To Lead programme because we believe that everyone should become nation builders by helping to get South Africa reading. We developed these interactive kits to make reading a playful pursuit that builds potential by building a child’s literacy and confidence,” Dresselhaus said.

Cengiwe Jiya, Grade R teacher at the school, applauded the Read to Lead campaign.

“It is going to make things easy for us and learners, because it has good instructions. Children love it and are showing much interest in it. We had to design and other things for the old system, but this one is making things much easier. Children make their own stories based on the pictures that they see on the equipment,” Jiya said.

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