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WCED on a drive to improve reading literacy

This follows worrying findings from the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study.

FILE: Western Cape MEC for Education Debbie Schafer. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is on a drive to improve reading literacy.

This follows worrying findings from the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).

It revealed that nearly 80% of grade 4 learners can't read for meaning.

The study revealed that Limpopo has the highest rate of functional illiteracy in Grade 4, at 90.8%, followed by Gauteng with 68.5%, Free State with 73.4%, while the Western Cape has the lowest, with 55%.

The MEC for Education, Debbie Schafer, says they are pleased with some of the improvements in the study, but they are still shocked about the latest results.

Spokesperson Jessica Shelver says: “The latest PIRLS paints a shocking picture of the state of literacy in South African primary schools. The study indicates that nearly 78% of Grade 4 children in South Africa are functionally illiterate in their home language, in that they cannot read for meaning.”

This is the latest study to be released, detailing the challenges faced by children in South Africa.

Last month, the 2017 Child Gauge reported that a staggering 5.5 million children still go to bed hungry.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)