SA pupils to benefit from European Union programme to enhance literacy

Johannesburg – Pupils in KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and Limpopo are set to benefit from a European Union (EU) backed two-year programme that is focusing on enhancing literacy initiatives at schools in the three provinces.

The Reading and Leadership Strengthening in South African Schools (Reals-SA) for Learning During Covid-19 and Beyond, is an EU-funded initiative that is implemented by the UN Children’s Fund in partnership with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the National Education Collaboration Trust.

“For decades, most education authorities made steady progress towards eradicating illiteracy. However, Covid-19 has had a profound effect and years of having successfully narrowed the literacy gap between pupils from lower and higher income backgrounds could be reversed if we do not act,” said EU ambassador to South Africa Dr Riina Kionka.

The programme will have visibility in 650 schools in the three provinces, with a target of reaching 292 000 pupils, 65 000 parents, 4 600 teachers, 975 school management team members, as well as 104 circuit managers and subject advisers.

Kulula Manona, the chief director of Foundations for Learning at the DBE, said the department is encouraged that the programme will support curriculum recovery by addressing the learning losses in reading and literacy caused by the pandemic. “

“As a collaborative exercise, the Reals SA programme has provided us with an ideal opportunity to consolidate available resources in the country and put systems and processes in place to make these accessible to school managers, teachers and parents,” Manona said.

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