Grade 4 learners cannot read.

Only 19 of grade 4 pupils can read for understanding – study
The rearmost report on the Progress in International Reading knowledge Study( Pirls) shows that 81 of South African pupils in grade 4 can not read for understanding.

The report was released by Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga in Pretoria on Tuesday, as the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement released the transnational report and results.

While only 19 of pupils are suitable to read for meaning by the age of 10, in grade 6 the chance of pupils who can read for appreciation is fairly advanced but still way below the transnational standard at 44.
The grade 4 figure represents a 3 drop from the 2016 report and places South Africa’s performance – in the study that measures pupils capability to read for appreciation – at the bottom with an average score of 288, down from 320 in the last report.

The Pirls study takes place every five times and South Africa has been taking part in the exploration since 2006.

This time, 57 countries shared in the study assessing 400 000 grade 4 and grade 6 pupils ’ capacities to read for understanding.

It was the first time that South Africa’s grade 6 pupils took part in the study.

“ Grade 4 learners were assessed across the 11 sanctioned languages. Grade 6 learners were assessed in English and Afrikaans, ” shows the Pirls 2021 study.

“ A aggregate of 12 426 grade 4 learners were assessed, and 9 317 grade 6 learners were assessed. The 2021 sample was nationally representative, and was stratified by language and fiefdom. ”

The smallest performing languages were conversational with isiZulu at 267 as the loftiest and Setswana at 211 as the smallest, while Afrikaans pupils recorded 387 and English 382, independently
The Pirls achievement scale has four points as transnational marks – the advanced transnational standard at 625, high transnational standard( 550), intermediate transnational standard( 475) and low transnational standard( 400).

“ For South Africa, the Pirls 2021 study reveals veritably low performance situations on learners ’ capability to read for meaning as they turn 10.

“ Singapore was the loftiest- performing country. All African countries performed below the low transnational standard of 400 points. South Africa, at 288 score points, performed significantly below the Pirls centre point of 500, ” shows the report.

Grade 6 pupils also achieved a low standard with mean achievement score of 384.

“ The grade 6 Afrikaans learners attained 456 points compared to English learners, who attained 377 points. There was therefore a 79- point difference between these two languages. ”

In her speech, Motshekga said Pirls represents the first transnational large- scale assessment to report results after successfully collecting data during the Covid- 19 epidemic.

Motshekga said “ Our anticipation is that the result would not be positive given the negative and dire consequences of Covid- 19.

“ South Africa isn’t the only country that was impacted negatively by Covid.

“ The Pirls International report shows that two- thirds of the countries that shared in the study had a decline in average reading achievement, suggesting at least some wide negative impact from the epidemic on reading achievement at the fourth grade. ”

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