Cape Town 29-04-16 Angie Motshekga the South African Minister of Basic Education with pupils at the Masiphumelele primary school in Khayelitsha Picture Brenton Geach Reporter Yazeed Kamaldien

Cape Town - Children will succeed at school if parents are 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 and read with pupils in their classrooms. ”Our aim with this campaign is to reactivate 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.

“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.”

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 in 150 Grade R classrooms across the Western Cape, after being launched last year.

Motshekga’s department has partnered with a Western Cape service provider, Grow Learning Company, which provides reading materials for foundation stage 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 the speech difficulties experienced by her four sons. “But I was fortunate. I was the daughter of a teacher and like my mom I was a problem solver.

“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.

“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.”

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