Teaching all our children to read

In a letter on January 30, Ntozanakhele Lucas asked: What is the Education Department doing to encourage black children to read?

The department is about to launch the National Strategy for Reading (NSR), which aims to improve the reading of all pupils. NSR will:

l Put reading firmly on the school agenda;

l Clarify and simplify curri- culum expectations;

l Promote reading across the curriculum;

l Affirm and advance the use of all languages;

l Encourage reading for enjoyment; and

l Ensure that not only teachers, pupils and parents, but also the broader community understand their role in improving reading.

The overall vision is that every pupil will be able to read fluently for learning, enjoyment and enrichment purposes. It wants all pupils to be able to read basic texts by the end of Grade 3.

The department has strategic interventions such as Ithuba Programme, Drop All And Read Project, Mobile Library in Education and the 100 Foundation Storybooks Project.

The department encourages all South Africans to get involved in the effort to combat illiteracy by promoting reading in all aspects of life.

John S Mojapelo, chiefdirector: communication, Department of Education