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78% of South African children in Grade 4 are illiterate. Nomakholwa Gxowa is the selfless educator mending our literacy crisis.

Every day, the state of our country’s education seems to get worse. The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study recently showed that as many as 78% of South African children in Grade 4 are illiterate. The inability to read has knock-on effects for a child’s chances of progressing in other subjects, and while the onus is on parents as well as teachers to provide support, there are instances when this is not possible. With almost three decades of experience working with children, Nomakholwa Gxowa understands the challenges and is working to combat them.

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It takes active citizenry to get good schools

Posted by Ayanda Khuzwayo on 17 October 2018 2:00 PM CAT
Ayanda Khuzwayo photo

Achieving universal primary education by 2015 was one of the Millennium Development Goals adopted in 2000 by all 191 United Nations states. Remarkably, the goal of “education for all” largely has been met – but levels of literacy and numeracy remain low. Now the frontier challenge is to improve the learning outcomes of children in school – in South Africa and in many, many other countries around the world. 

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In looking for a “silver bullet” to improve the quality of South African schools, a focus on principals and their selection would be a good candidate. As researchers the world over have shown, the quality and commitment of a school’s principal can have a decisive impact on performance.

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What’s a good education bureaucracy worth? One common explanation for the poor performance of South Africa’s schools is that ‘it’s the bureaucracy’s fault’. Indeed, South Africa’s public bureaucracies get lots of things wrong. But as UCT research explored in depth, a narrow preoccupation with bureaucratic effectiveness may be directing attention away from some especially promising responses to the country’s current challenges – in education, and more broadly.

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Starting in 2020, South African learners will have the option to take up Kiswahili as an optional second additional language.

The announcement follows a meeting by the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) held in Pretoria last week Thursday (13 September). At the meeting, the CEM approved the listing of Kiswahili as a language that will be offered to learners.

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JOHANNESBURG — Everybody knows that the state of South Africa's education system is pretty appalling. But one programme dubbed Partners for Possibility (Pfp)  wants to help ensure quality education for all school children in the country by the year 2025. PfP targets doing this by establishing co-learning partnerships between School Principals and Business Leaders. In turn, PfP aims to ensure that schools are placed at the centre of their communities. It’s an interesting initiative. And in this interview, businesswoman Gillian Cox tells about a partnership she entered and the difference it made. – Gareth van Zyl

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The High Cost of Not Educating Girls

Posted by Ayanda Khuzwayo on 31 July 2018 9:45 AM CAT
Ayanda Khuzwayo photo

Globally 89% of girls complete primary education, but only 77% complete lower secondary education, which in most of the countries is 9 years of schooling. In low-income countries, the numbers drop to below 2/3 for primary education, and only 1/3 for lower secondary school. 

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The Monitoring and Evaluation process is turning into a lively new creature with Technology. With Increasing emphasis on real-time feedback, a more rigorous data collection method and quantifiable results, the spread and use of Infomation and Communication Technologies (ICT) in monitoring and evaluation have sparked massive interest, particularly in the Global South. 

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julie lythcott-haims

Julia Lythcott-Haims is a former dean is a former dean at Stanford University from the year 2002 to the year 2012. She is also the author of how to raise an adult. She has built a career on encouraging parents to take a more hands-off approach, favoring tough love instead of protecting kids from the big, scary world. Here are some of the broad strategies she's outlined for how to get there.

 

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