Reading is a chronic problem in schools

2015-09-03 06:00

LATEST research by Stellenbosch University into the literacy level of Grade 5 pupils in rural schools endorses the assertion by respected educationist Professor Jonathan Jansen that our education is rubbish.

In 240 schools studied, Grade 5 pupils were reading at Grade 3 level. Education is dysfunctional when the reading age and chronological ages differ, especially at national level.

Reading is a chronic problem in our schools where, in the main, there are no libraries. Pupils are seriously disadvantaged when they find themselves in situations requiring them to read to learn.

A national campaign to foster learning to read is a priority.

Regretfully, not all teachers are equipped to teach reading and this should be Sadtu’s priority — not getting away with group copying in Grade 12.

Learning institutions are supposed to foster positive changes in school communities.

On the contrary, pupils are leaving these institutions ill-equipped to function in the next phase of their education. This is a serious indictment on the system, from teachers to circuit managers to district managers.

There is no evidence of any intervention programmes as not all departmental officials are competent, many are political appointees and have absolutely no idea of whole-school development.

The government is too busy decriminalising pubescent sex in primary schools while illiteracy is condoned.

JAY JUGWANTH

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