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Literacy is a golden gateway to education at school and beyond

Wednesday 5 June 2019
It’s concerning and tragic that just over three million South Africans remain illiterate, according to Statistics South Africa. As Walt Disney once very wisely said: ‘There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.’

Learning to read is a critical step in our development, and it’s the golden gateway to education at school and far beyond. One programme that recognises precisely this is our Accelerated Early Grade Reading (AEGR) project, which has been running in 150 schools in the Free State for almost three years.

Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), it aims to improve the literacy outcomes of learners in Grade 1 to 3 and runs in conjunction with the Free State Department of Education.

Working across all five districts in the province, AEGR builds the capacity of teachers and district officials – and it raises awareness in communities of how important it is to encourage and support children’s reading.