It’s rare to find a topic that all SA "experts" agree on, except perhaps that crime is bad and growth is good. However, there is one area where there is now almost universal consensus in our country: more than half of children in SA are not learning to read in the first three years of school and we can probably do something about this. 

In the hope that we might be able to channel this consensus into a useful plan of action, this past Saturday we hosted the first annual “literacy lekgotla” in Stellenbosch. The day started with a keynote address from arguably the world’s foremost expert on reading, Prof Catherine Snow from Harvard University in the US. She spoke about the importance of getting it right in a child’s home language: “Children can only learn to read in a language they can speak and understand. Period. End of story. They can acquire additional languages like English very effectively once they’re literate in their home language.” 

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now