Learning Brief: Strengthening Links in the Learning Chain: The Value of Accelerated Learning Programmes

In South Africa, poor reading proficiency in schools has been compounded by pandemic-era learning losses. Accelerated Learning Programmes (ALPs), in various forms, can help address this deficit because they are designed to support children who are constantly falling behind. This learning brief explores how ALPs can help fill the gaps in our schooling system.

Academic performance is influenced by a learner’s ability to read for meaning. But far too many children in South Africa’s schooling system lack this crucial skill. There are several reasons why; perhaps first and foremost is the long neglect of the early childhood development (ECD) sector. Many children start school without the foundational building blocks they need to be ready to learn to read. Children in the foundation phase (Grade R to Grade 3), learn the mechanics of reading (phonetics, sentence structure and sense-making), so that from the intermediate phase (Grade 4 to Grade 6) onwards, they can use these skills to acquire knowledge. Lessons move from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”, with pupils using textbooks to understand new concepts in various subjects in their school curriculum.

To read this learning brief, download a pdf here or read it magazine-style on ISSUU here. Download the full Hands-on Learning publication (Issue 22) here as a pdf.


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