Angie Motshekga says she has a plan. After the latest international reading rankings showed South Africa has lost a decade of progress to become the world’s worst performer, the basic education minister has announced a strategy to improve pupils’ literacy. It sounds good on paper — except we’ve heard it all before. 

Motshekga sketched out her four-point plan last week, on the day the latest Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (Pirls) results were published. They show that 81% of South Africa’s grade 4 pupils cannot read for meaning in any language, up from 78% in 2016. ..

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