Only 14% of South Africans read books - Motshekga

2016-04-29 15:46
(Tammy Petersen, News24)

(Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - Only 14% of South Africans read books, while only 5% of parents read to their children, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Friday.

The figures were a clear indication of a major crisis in education, she said at a Read to Lead intervention at Masiphumelele Primary School in Khayelitsha.

The race against illiteracy started in early childhood development, Motshekga said.

"But we continue to have a problem of under-qualified teachers with poor conditions of employment. This is a major problem in this sector."

Read to Lead is a partnership with early learning firm, Grow Learning Company, and the Western Cape Education Department.

The campaign, launched last year, would run until 2019 as part of a countrywide government effort to instil a reading culture in pupils and to improve children’s ability to read.

Motshekga handed over an interactive reading kit to the Grade R class at the school. They are designed to make learning to read more exciting, and consist of aids such as picture story books, vocabulary cards, wooden story books, foam dice, interactive posters, and charts.

Founder and CEO of the Grow Leaning Company, Annerie Dresselhaus, started the businesses during her own struggle to raise four children with learning difficulties. 

Her oldest son had a rare genetic disorder and did not speak until he was older than five. Her youngest had meningitis and severe sepsis.

"But I was fortunate. I was the daughter of a teacher and, like my mom, I was a problem solver. I also spent loads of time in her classroom growing up, so education and learning has been a big part of my life from the get go."

In 2007, she started the company which manufactures early childhood development products in a Cape Town factory.

The kits would be given to 150 schools in the province.

Read more on:    angie motshekga  |  cape town  |  education

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