Parents help children read, says education minister

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

If children are to succeed at school their parents should get more involved in their education, believes national basic education minister Angie Motshekga.

Motshekga was in Khayelitsha yesterday for the rollout of the Read to Lead campaign at Masiphumelele Primary School. She visited pupils in their classroom where she read along with them.

“Our aim with this campaign is to reactive a reading skills and access to reading materials at schools. We want our kids to develop reading habits and skills. We want more schools to have libraries,” said Motshekga.

“Parents must get involved in the education of their children. They tend to leave it to schools too much. Parents have to read to their kids and support schools.

“Parents have to make sure they read at home. When it is holidays, they should get them to read. They should join libraries.”


LITERATE NATION: Basic education minister Angie Motshekga spent time with children at Masiphumelele Primary School in Khayelitsha as part of her department’s mission to improve literacy levels. Picture Yazeed Kamaldien

Motshekga said quality education hinged on the ability of the department and teachers to “get reading, writing and counting as basic skills right”.

Read to Lead is being implemented at 150 Grade R classrooms across the Western Cape and it was launched last year.

Motshekga’s department has partnered with a Western Cape-based service provider, Grow Learning Company, which provides reading materials for foundation pupils.

Grow Learning founder Annerie Dresselhaus said they donated the learning materials and training to the schools.

They planned to reach another 50 schools in each province, said Dresselhaus, who started her company in response to her four sons who had speech difficulties.

“But I was fortunate. I was the daughter of a teacher and like my mom I was a problem solver,” said Dresselhaus.

“I also spent loads of time in her classroom growing up, so education and learning has been a big part of my life from the get go.”

Dresselhaus said the training kit her company developed was based on research as well as a tried-and-tested methodology of “what children like”.

“Learning to read can be a daunting challenge when you’re a child,” she added.

“What we’ve done to help teachers, parents and children with the challenge of learning to read, is to make it playful.

“Our experience shows that when children are happily engaged in a playful pursuit, they get really immersed in the experience and learning becomes fun.”



About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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