Stop nutritional stunting among children under two years

Keep all children on track by Grade 4

Imagine a 25% boost to our per capita GDP – at a time when we can barely manage 1% per annum. This is the kind of economic growth we could start to expect if all South Africans were sufficiently literate to participate in the formal economy.[1]M. Gustafsson, S. Van der Berg, D. Shepherd and C. Burger. 2010. The costs of illiteracy in South Africa. Access here. Put differently, if we don’t improve literacy in South Africa, it costs us approximately R550-billion each year. Even just half that benefit would equal the national public spending on basic education![2]Engle P, Fernald L, Alderman H, Behrman J, O’Gara C, Yousafazi A, de Mello M, Hidrobo M, Ulkuer N, Ertem I, and the Global Child Development Steering Group (2011). Strategies for reducing inequalities and improving developmental outcomes for young children in low-income and middle-income countries. The Lancet 378:1339-1359.

A fully literate nation could boost the size of our GDP by 25%.

Language development – through interaction with parents, reading and storytelling – is what drives achievement in both literacy and Maths. Numerous studies show the link between pre-school language attainment and the ability to learn in school.[3]Sénéchal M, Ouellette G, Rodney D. The misunderstood giant: On the predictive role of vocabulary to reading. In: Neuman SB, Dickinson D, eds. Handbook of early literacy research. vol 2. New York, NY: Guilford Press; 2006: 173-182.

But reading is not just about doing well at school and promoting economic growth. The ability to read and comprehend enables social cohesion and innovation by building empathy, critical thinking and
imagination.[4]Nussbaum M (2010): Not for Profit: Why democracy needs the humanities, Princeton University Press.

References   [ + ]

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6

Our goal is to double the number of parents who read regularly to their children from 15% to 30%, and to improve foundation phase literacy and numeracy in at least 1 000 primary schools.

What we will be working on…

From 2017–2021 we will drive home the power of reading as the foundation for all learning by:

  • Mobilising a national campaign to increase the practice of reading and expand the access to reading materials.
  • Improving the quality of foundation phase numeracy and literacy.

Click here to read how we plan to do it.

 

WHAT HOW
Mobilise a national campaign to increase the practice of reading and to expand access to reading materials. Drive a national campaign to promote reading-for-joy (Nal’ibali) of sufficient scale, intensity and longevity to change reading behaviour in South Africa.
Improve the quality of foundation phase numeracy and literacy. Support the development of numeracy and literacy tools and resources to be made widely available.
Explore catch-up literacy and numeracy options for young people.

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Opportunity 1
Drive public innovation by reigniting civil society
Opportunity 2
Release the systemic chokes on innovation that are perpetuated by exclusion
Opportunity 3
Create unlikely networks to stimulate positive change
Opportunity 4
Give every child the benefit of early childhood development
Opportunity 5
Stop nutritional stunting among children under two years
Opportunity 6
Make sure every child is ready to read by the time they go to school
Opportunity 7
Build simple, loving connections for every child
Opportunity 8
Place failing schools ‘under new management’ so that children can succeed
Opportunity 9
Create new connections to opportunity for young people
Opportunity 10
Support young people to keep their grip on opportunity
Opportunity 1
Opportunity 2
Opportunity 3
Opportunity 4
Opportunity 5
Opportunity 6
Opportunity 7
Opportunity 8
Opportunity 9
Opportunity 10