Opportunity 6: Reflection and Analysis


COVID-19 must be used to disrupt long-term mortality trends – and radically improve our education system

The clinically cold term ‘excess deaths’ has worked its way into the global lexicon. It means the number of deaths that occur in excess to that which would typically be expected in any given time period. If the death rate for whites is an acceptable norm for South Africa, then there are roughly 200,000 excess […]

Posted on 11 Jun 2020

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In the midst of the Covid Crisis, we cannot leave half our children behind

Why zero-rating of mobile services of PBOs is so crucial The poorest children have the least access to digital learning – and yet we are currently zero-rating mobile content that only wealthy children can use! Schooling is going to stop for three months and we’ve got to: Stop pretending that most children will have access […]

Posted on 7 Apr 2020

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The power of engaging around stories: Evidence from the Biblionef and Western Cape Education Department Book Project

South Africa’s foundation phase reading is in crisis. As evidenced by studies such as the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), 78% of Grade 4 students cannot read for meaning in any language. Several South African NGOs are trying to address this fracture in our education system. In 2016, book donation organisation Biblionef […]

Posted on 16 Jan 2019

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We do have solutions for SA’s reading crisis

The national senior certificate results are an important annual benchmark of the state of education. In 2017, they showed some improvement, with a pass rate of 75%. But they have two major limitations. First, they reflect only the achievement of that half of school-leavers who actually wrote the grade 12 exams. The other half had […]

Posted on 16 Mar 2018

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Creating a Story-Powered Nation

“Reading opens up new worlds. It gives us power – to learn new things, tell our own stories, and shape our futures”.  [Extract from a Story-Powered Nation] At DGMT we often talk about the importance of reading, of ensuring that children are ready to read when they go to school. We believe it is a key […]

Posted on 7 Sep 2017

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How to make sense of mother-tongue instruction debates

Many parents find the debates about mother-tongue instruction very confusing.  All they want to know is “what is best for my child”? Is it better to introduce English sooner or later?  Will my child get mixed up if she learns more than one language at the same time?  Is it best to send her to […]

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Posted on 2 May 2017

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Your Mandela Day to-do list: Grow empathy, connect to others, take action – but choose wisely

The message behind Mandela Day is that we all have the ability and responsibility to change the world for the better.  In theory many people agree with this sentiment, judging from the 2.8K likes that a Nelson Mandela quote like “our society needs to re-establish a culture of caring” can garner on the Nelson Mandela […]

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Posted on 18 Jul 2016

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“Your child is also my child” – becoming part of an “army of adults” reading to children

First published by the Sowetan on 2 June 2016. We often hear about South Africa’s dismal education outcomes and low literacy rates. We have also been hearing that early literacy, reading for joy, and growing up around books can change the life trajectories of individuals and dramatically improve our society.   Yet we hear much less […]

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Posted on 8 Jun 2016

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The “ordinary magic” that can change a child’s future

This article was first published in the Star on 9 May 2016 Since 27 April 2015, ‘Mandela’s children’ have been turning twenty-one. They are the first of the ‘born-free generation’ to become adults. Are they better off than young adults were in the early nineties? It’s a difficult question to ask at the best of […]

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Posted on 11 May 2016

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Why big business must get behind reading

This article was first published by Business Day Live on 25 November 2015. There is a business product with a proven rate of return in excess of one thousand percent in emerging markets. In South Africa, demand for it outstrips supply by at least two to one. Estimates are that the national GDP would be at […]

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Posted on 3 Dec 2015

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