Cape Argus

Reading strategy to boost literacy


NEXT YEAR, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) will be launching a Reading Strategy, an explicit plan to create opportunit­ies and associatio­ns to help pupils from grades R to 12 decode and encode text and visuals for meaning.

The department said the strategy was a high-level “Whole of Society Approach” (Wosa) that sets out the latest thinking about how all sectors can work together to get pupils reading at grade level.

Karen Dudley, Director: Curriculum (General Education and Training), said the strategy had five main pillars: teacher developmen­t, learning and teaching support material, learner support, advocacy and parental involvemen­t.

“The strategy includes reading norms per term per grade that will guide teachers on when interventi­ons are needed for pupils who are not able to attain the benchmarks set out in the norms,” Dudley said.

She said the mission to promote a vibrant reading culture was not the responsibi­lity of teachers alone, but that of school managers, parents, caregivers, librarians, publishers, corporate and other members of society, who all had a role to play in promoting the habit of reading.

That was one of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Vision 2030 goals as he was delivering his State of the Nation Address in June. He said schools would have better educationa­l outcomes and every 10-year-old child would be able to read for meaning within the next five years.

The matter has also been a bone of contention for social justice groups such as Equal Education, who said it was one of the precarious foundation results in weak learning outcomes in the later schooling years.

The WCED’s reading strategy is set to be launched on March14. Brian Schreuder, head of department, said their vision for education in the Western Cape remained clear – to achieve quality education for every child, in every classroom, every school in the province.

“But we cannot do this without having the necessary systems, structures and policies in place,” he said.

“We cannot do this if we do not have supportive and efficient teams. All our schools should embrace this new theme for what it stands for.”

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