We invited Seu Comber, publisher of FREE 4 ALL, a school newspaper delivered free each month and distributed to 32 000 learners nationwide, to write our guest blog. Seu shares ACCA SA’s passion for promoting literacy in schools. Do read our blog: “Opening a window to the world,” posted on 8 May to learn how ACCA SA is trying to promote literacy at Refalletse Primary School in Orange Farm.
It’s a fact – SA’s numeracy and literacy stats are shocking and educationally speaking we are in dire straights.
In the past teachers and parents were responsible for children’s education and dove-tailed together to produce a fully functional literate individual.
Regrettably today the responsibility is fractured with no-one taking full responsibility of the holistic educational development of the child. The average child is learning from multi medias – TV, radio, social media in the form of Twitter, Facebook etc. The result is a dichotomy between the techno savvy – apparently sophisticated child and the ‘literacy stunted’ child.
Today we have the added dilemma of having to doubt the capabilities of our educators, as it becomes more and more evident that the calibre of the teachers is often below par.
With the acceptance of a teaching candidate with a matric symbol of 30% for English, one can only fear the future levels of literacy in our country.
It therefore follows quite understandably that the average reading and comprehension age at school level is 2 years below par. The average learner has a comprehension age of a person two years younger.
It is of utmost importance to engage a child spontaneously with the written word. Tragically, it is apparent that the support of the ‘big players’ in SA is to encourage Science and Technology in the school environment particularly with senior pupils. The younger age groups who desperately need appropriate reading materials and libraries, are being overlooked while the money is being pumped into equipping labs and computer rooms.
How can a pupil read and understand science experiments and technology with such a flimsy grasp of language comprehension?
Bottom line – if we don’t start making a difference – then who?
If we don’t start making a difference now – then when?
Publisher of FREE 4 ALL