Cape Town - According to President Cyril Ramaphosa's Vision 2030, schools will have better educational outcomes and every 10-year-old child will be able to read for meaning within the next five years.
The matter has been a bone of contention for social justice groups such as Equal Education who said it is one of the precarious foundation results in weak learning outcomes in the later schooling years.
Equal Education has said that because these children – the large majority of which attended "historically black and underfunded schools – are unable to read for meaning, they also cannot use the skill of reading to acquiring new knowledge in various subject disciplines".
Ramaphosa reiterated that early reading is a basic foundation that determines a child's educational progress; through school, through higher education and into the workplace.
He said that through initiatives like the National Reading Coalition "we will be able to coordinate this national effort".
"All foundation and intermediate phase teachers are to be trained to teach reading in English and the African languages, and we are training and deploying a cohort of experienced coaches to provide high quality on site support to teachers," Ramaphosa said.
Expanding on his five goals for his current term, Ramaphosa said government will make commitments, knowing that they will stretch their resources and capabilities, "but understanding that if we achieve these five goals, we will have fundamentally transformed our society".
* For more on President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address visit IOL's #SONA2019 trend page.