81% of Grade 4 learners in South Africa are unable to read for meaning

According Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIR PIRLS 2021, an alarming 81% of Grade 4 learners in South Africa are unable to read for meaning (with comprehension) in any language. This represents a three percentage increase since the 78% from 2016 study. The study also reveals that South Africa's Grade 4 learners scored significantly lower than the international mean, with a 32-point decrease from the 2016 results. To address this urgent crisis, the Zero Dropout Campaign is calling for the immediate implementation of accelerated learning programmes (ALPs). These programs have been recognised as best practice in countries grappling with high learner repetition rates and learning gaps. ALPs aim to re-engage learners and provide targeted support to help them catch up academically.

Journalist: Phumla Matole
Email: pmatole@gmail.com

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