Reading for fun gives kids the edge – Motshekga

2016-05-10 17:00
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga ( Jenni Evans, News24)

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga ( Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town – Children who read for fun could get as much as a two-year head start at school, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Tuesday.

"You need to learn to read before you can read to learn," Motshekga said ahead of her budget vote speech in Parliament.

Last year, she set a target of supplying 1 000 libraries per year. Through donations and direct involvement from the private sector, individuals and NGOs, 3 000 school, mobile and trolley libraries and reading corners had been set up around the country.

This was part of the Read to Lead campaign, which aimed to turn around low literacy levels and make South Africa a reading nation.

No reading culture

Motshekga encouraged everybody to read more, children and adults, saying that when children saw books in the home and watched others reading for fun, they would also pick up books and read.

"It's not only our kids who don't read, it's all of us," she said.

"We don't even read as adults, there is not even a reading culture in our homes where we can just pick up a book and read."

The Read to Lead campaign was launched last year and is expected to run until 2019. It was hoped the initiative would improve literacy levels by 75%.

Motshekga thanked people who devoted their time to the campaign.


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