Words can change WorldsLiteracy Programme
Youth-Run Village Libraries in Rural South Africa
The level of literacy in South Africa is extremely low. 60% of Grade 4 students cannot read for meaning in any language and 29% are completely illiterate. This literacy crisis is even more severe in rural South African villages, where there is very little access to books. Most adults do not read to children and many are illiterate. In the rural Eastern Cape villages, there are no libraries or books for reading either at school or in the family homes.
One consequence is that in school students are unable to engage with what is being taught. With every day spent struggling, students fall behind, become demotivated and disillusioned as to whether there is any hope or future for them inside the school system. It is not surprising that 50% of South Africa’s students drop out of school early, without any formal qualification.