President Cyril Ramaphosa emphasized the importance of ensuring that all South African children learn to read during this State of Nation Address (SONA) on 20 June.
He said, “If we are to ensure that within the next decade, every 10-year-old will be able to read for meaning, we will need to mobilize the entire nation behind a massive reading complain. Early reading is a basic foundation that determines a child’s educational progress, through school, through higher education, and into the workplace.
“All other interventions – from the work being done to improve the quality of basic education for the poor, from our investment in TVET colleges to the expansion of workplace learning – will not produce the results we need unless we first ensure that children can read.”
Encouraging the improvement of reading skills in schools across the country, President Ramaphosa has on more than one occasion emphasized the importance of mastering this basic skill.
Sharing his vision, Lectorsa has taken the lead and launched it’s #YesIcan Literacy campaign at the beginning of the year. The Lectorsa team is determined to work with all interested schools, businesses and NGO’s to use more than thirty years of research to improve literacy skills in South Africa schools and boost educational outcomes. The aim is to equip South Africa’s people affectively with the right skillsets, to grow with an ever-changing world.
LAB-on-line data refers to more than 95 000 individual profiles (mostly ESLS across South Africa) that demonstrate how to not only improve reading and visual literacy but also cognitive abilities for users from the first year of schooling through to management levels. In 2018, one of the groups they empowered, Grade 4 leaders, improved their reading skills to a Grade 7 level, measured to international norms and standards.
Director of Lectorsa, Minda Marshall said, “These leaders, also mostly English Second Language Students (ESLS) exceeded the expected outcomes and give us great hope for what can be achieved with the right type of intervention.”
Indeed, the debate concerning what age students should start the language of instruction as English and not mother langue has been raging for several years.
Important aspects that deserve our attention in the area are:
– Mother tongue instruction in reading is important
– “Instruction in English from as early as possible is the best way to become fluent in English.” As indicated by the latest cognitive research “if you want to have native-like knowledge of English grammar, you should start up to 10 year old.”
– The current implementation preference in most SA public schools, which is the option to use more-tongue instruction as opposed to English instruction in Grade one, two and three, generally leads to better English learning in the long run.
– We need to ensure that the best practices to improve and develop reading skills are accessible to all our South African leaders.
Marshall said, “For our beautiful country to grow, we need to activate the true potential of our most valued asset, our people!” She added, “At the beginning of the year, President Ramaphosa also spoke about the importance of developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy to improve reading. We must all do our part to ensure this enormous project is successful.
How can you be part?
– Parents should read to their children, preferably beautiful stories in their home language.
– Children in Grade 1, 2 and 3 should read to their parents from their school workbooks.
– Parents should ensure that there are books available at home.
– Schools must take up the responsibility to ensure that accurate strategies for literacy intervention and development are deployed at ALL levels.
Schools and organizations
– TVET colleges and universities should empower all their students with the necessary skill sets to be able to interact effectively with the information they have to study.
– Colleges and universities should ensure access to the best training courses available for the teachers, facilitators, and parents.
– The government and private sector should work together to ensure that more libraries in our communities are established giving learners access to books.
– Companies and individuals can sponsor students, schools and NPO’s with the implementation of a system like LAB-on-line (contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
“At Lectorsa, we have a proven strategy. In the schools where we have implemented our solutions, educational outcomes improved, learners’ self-confidence increased and growth was evident. We are ready to do our part in ensuring the next 10 years see a major change in literacy levels in our nation.”
Transforming South Africa is possible. Together we can make a real and sustainable difference. Join our movement – #yesican literacy campaign and be part of the solution.