What kind of country, battling tumbling education standards, skills shortages and huge unemployment, prevents its children from acquiring the knowledge that could transform SA’s future? How many potential teachers has SA lost through lack of education? How many doctors, engineers, nurses, mechanics, technicians? How many entrepreneurs, each of whom might have created dozens, even hundreds of jobs? It’s a sad fact of life that while politicians make maximum capital out of supposed crises in urban schools, the biggest education crisis of all is ignored. Hundreds of thousands of SA primary-school children in rural areas receive almost no practical education because, simply, almost no-one cares. Luckily, a few do. Since 1998, Rally to Read has taken literacy into remote corners of SA where education officials rarely set foot and even more rarely provide teaching materials. Rally to Read provides books, stationery, teacher training, learner support and even sports equipment. Its backers ...

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