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31 July 2020

South Africa – Eight out of every 10 children in South Africa can’t read properly.

Research shows that many parents with low income levels and lower levels of education did not always read to their children or visit the library regularly. This stems from a lack of awareness about the importance of reading activities and because reading and library visits are usually not a part of parents own childhood experiences.

However, all parents can support their children’s education both at home and at school, irrespective of their status.

The National Reading Coalition (NRC) was established by the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) as a comprehensive national response to the reading challenges facing South Africa.

NRC programme manager and NECT in North West George Taodzera said, “July is regarded as a Mandela Month in our country. As parents, we have an obligation to nurture our children into successful citizens that will develop the country through education and proper parental guidance. As we celebrate the Mandela Month, we are also faced with COVID-19, a pandemic that has attacked the whole world. If children receive effective parental support guided by good education, the country stands a better chance to develop skilled critical thinkers.”

The NRC is a programme developed to respond to the call made by the President Cyril Ramaphosa that all 10-year old learners must read with understanding by the year 2030.

Following the African saying that ‘it takes a village to educate a child’, every adult and/or parent in communities has an obligation to contribute to the upbringing of their children. It is also critical that accelerated efforts be made to equip teachers for their task of teaching children to read. South Africa’s children deserve no less.

NECT press release extracts, 14 July 2020

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