Researchers previously underestimated how many young pupils in South Africa had difficulty understanding what they were reading. Picture: Archive
I was shell-shocked when I read the latest report by Progress In International Reading and Literacy Study.

Out of of 12810 Grade 4 pupils from 293 schools across South Africa, 78% could not read for meaning.

We finished rock-bottom out of 50 countries tested. This is a serious case of abuse of children.

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We are all to blame, especially our current government ministers, teaching staff and education administrators who are all looking the other way.

Too many corrupt politicians and business people are also looking the other way. We are all too busy scheming about how we are going to make the next million bucks.

We have some very dedicated teachers, but there are far too many who are looking the other way; all they are interested in is the cheque at the end of the month. The proof is in the pudding: eight out of 10 children can’t read for meaning.

We are supposed to be a beacon of hope for the rest of Africa, but we are all looking the other way while our children are being groomed for disaster.

Very soon, we will be the laughing stock of Africa and the rest of the world.

* Mo Noor Joseph, Crawford.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Cape Argus