Durban — To encourage reading, pupils and teachers observed World Read Aloud Day at Windy Heights Primary School in Isipingo on Wednesday.
The school had various performances and reading-out-loud groups spread throughout the school and their teachers had books and cushions spread on the floor for them to enjoy.
With excitement and song, the pupils each read out loud from a story.
Deputy principal Patience Magwaza said that the principal of the school, Thembekile Makhanya, wanted to celebrate the day because she recognised the importance of reading.
She added that the Department of Education took to heart last year’s Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) – which revealed that Grade 4 learners in South Africa had the worst reading ability in the world, with 81% unable to read for meaning.
“Research has shown that our learners do not know how to read to comprehend. We are now trying to instil the love for reading in our learners,” she said.
She added that the school worked with the literacy programme Nal’ibali to make the day a success.
One of the learners at the school, Mawande Lembede, who is in Grade 7 said that reading is important “because it is the ladder to success”.
Another learner from the same grade, Nompilo Mngoma, was a part of a group of pupils who read out loud on stage and acted in a short play.
“Reading is very special and important because you cannot go anywhere without knowing how to read,” she said.
Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube visited Dassenhoek High School in Mariannhill on Wednesday to hand over uniforms to high school pupils, support families and foster a positive school environment.
Speaking to Grade 12 pupils at the school, the premier said that World Read Aloud Day is important because it encourages parents to read with their children and read for them. She said that this was important because of the PIRLS.
“You find that learners read but do not understand what they have read. I wish that we can have this exercise regularly,” the premier said.
She also commended teachers for their work.
“I am still yet to see a profession that is as important as teaching.
“We are all that we are today, and I am standing here today, because of a teacher. Even engineers and doctors are who they are because of a teacher.
“Teachers take us from nothing to knowing how to read, write and speak. Sometimes we do not acknowledge them enough,” she said.
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