Gauteng to improve literacy levels by 2014

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Johannesburg -Sixty percent of Grade six learners in Gauteng will be at or above the national literacy achievement standard by 2014, the Gauteng Department of Education said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a media briefing, Education MEC, Barbara Creecy, said government research has shown that the majority of learners in the province are unable to read or write at the levels required by the national curriculum.

To reach the set target of 60 percent, Creecy said the Gauteng Primary Literacy Strategy would focus on four pillars - including annual external assessments of all Grade 3 and 6 learners and the provision of high quality literacy textbooks, workbooks, readers and teacher guides for all learners in 790 underperforming primary schools amongst other things.

"Various tests, locally and internationally, show that our learners are failing numeracy and literacy," said Creecy. "About 28 percent of Grade three learners pass literacy and about 44 percent have numeracy skills. This improves slightly in Grade 6, with an average of just under 40 percent of learners with language skills and just over 50 percent can do maths," she added.

She added that in order to develop a skilled workforce needed to grow the economy, learner performance needed to be improved, especially in the foundation phase.

"We will implement a sustainable strategy for improving learner achievement through holiday camps and weekend classes. We must build the capacity of the system, schools, districts and head offices to ensure that quality learning is effectively managed and takes place optimally," Creecy said.

In her State of the Province Address on Monday, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said education was the province's top priority.

She said interventions will start at the foundation stage of education to ensure that children are well prepared to develop and succeed in the later stages of their education.