by Staff Reporter on 18/04/13 at 8:00 am
The Gestalt Group recently invested in the Spell It programme. The aim of the programme is to enhance literacy for learners in Gauteng schools, thereby improving vocabulary and language usage.
Mr Mannie Hirsch, CEO of the Gestalt Group, said that he was impressed by the results achieved through the Spell It programme. “There is a dramatic improvement in the literacy of the children that have participated in the programme. The programme is geared as a game, making it fun for the children to learn. They can also enter an interschool competition through which they can obtain scholarships. We are proud to be associated with Spell It”.
Hirsch believes that there is a desperate need to improve literacy and mathematical skills amongst children in South Africa. “There is no future for our children without being able to read, write and count,” says Hirsch. The Spell It programme supports the education system by working with learners at primary school level to ensure that each learner has the opportunity to achieve a good level of English literacy by the time they graduate to High School. It also aims to build excitement and momentum around learning and academic achievement.
Spell It Director, Roger Dickinson, says that the Spell It programme has two components, the Spelling Bee Competitions and the Vocabulary Assistance Programme. The programme was founded in 2010 and has grown from strength to strength since. “We are thankful for the participation of organisations such as the Gestalt Group,” says Dickinson. “Without businesses in South Africa getting involved we will not be able to make an impact on the literacy levels; an impact that is much needed”.
Education in Southern Africa is of serious concern with many children leaving school without the necessary literacy or mathematical skills to carve out a career. Statistics as published in the UNESCO Report show that fewer than 25% of grade six children reached the ‘desirable’ level of reading literacy. While the Mundi Index cites South African literacy, people over the age of 15 that can read and write, at 86.4% it does not indicate how well they can read or write. “South Africa only ranks 136th in the world with regards to its literacy levels,” warns Hirsch. “It is time that we support programmes such as Spell It and take control of our problems. Without a proper education there will be no improvement in the poverty levels in South Africa”.
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