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Study to Assess Learners' Readiness for School
Source: allAfrica.com
Source Date: Friday, November 25, 2011
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, Internet Governance
Country: South Africa
Created: Nov 25, 2011

"After an analysis of last year's Grade 3 literacy and numeracy results, it became evident that learners younger than the average age for Grade 3 tend to perform worse than some of their peers.

"The results suggest that many of the younger learners may not have been school ready when they entered Grade 1. They typically started school when they were five years old and turned six during Grade 1," Grant said.

He noted that while parents may enrol their children at five years, the compulsory school-going age is six turning seven in Grade 1 as children developed at different paces, with some coping at the required levels for the grade, while others struggle to keep up with their peers.

The study is being conducted at 59 community-based pre-schools and 111 public schools by specialists, including learning support teachers and advisors, curriculum specialists for early childhood development and Foundation Phase advisors.

They provide a holistic assessment of Grade R learners born in 2006 and will interpret the answers to establish whether the child has mastered the skills needed for learning. They will then share the findings with parents and advise them on whether or not their children have the learning skills needed for Grade 1.

Parents will receive the outcomes of the assessments by 24 November.

"Once this is completed, the department intends to track the progress of the learners who repeat Grade R and those who do not, the levels of parental involvement, what teachers do to address identified gaps and what the department has done to support these teachers.

"The department will study the impact of these measures on the number of children referred to specialised education support after Grade 3 and the impact in general on literacy and numeracy results," Grant explained.


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