The coronavirus pandemic has deepened SA’s literacy crisis, erasing a decade of gains and leaving 81% of grade 4 children unable to read for meaning, according to new research.

The 2021 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (Pirls), which measured the reading skills of nine- and 10-year-olds in 57 countries, shows the proportion of children who do not comprehend what they read has worsened from 78% in 2016, and is barely better than the 82% reported in 2011...

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