MEC Grant: Did Your Child Read, Write and Practise Maths Today?
"Improving the reading, writing and calculating abilities of our learners is one of the main priorities of this administration," said Western Cape Minister for Education, Donald Grant, on Tuesday.
Grant was briefing the media at one of the seventeen sites where billboards have been erected to promote the department's literacy and numeracy campaign which was launched at the start of the school year.
"In our strategic plan for education we have committed ourselves to improving literacy and numeracy outcomes at all levels," said Grant.
"Therefore we have kicked off 2010 with a literacy and numeracy campaign to support schools in their efforts to build the literacy and numeracy skills of their children at primary school level."
Grant said that the objectives of the campaign were to encourage parents to take an active interest in their children's education, especially in literacy and numeracy, and to build these skills within the confines of their homes.
"The campaign also encourages teachers to apply best practice to literacy and numeracy teaching, and the general public to take an active interest in literacy and numeracy education."
Grant said that the main message of the campaign to parents was, "Did your child read, write and practise maths today?"
"It is important that parents acknowledge that they have a major role to play in their children's education and that they should take ownership of it. We want parents to talk to their children about what they do at school, what they read, what they write and what sums they do," said Grant.
"We also want parents to speak to teachers about what they are doing in school to build these skills, and what parents can do to help teachers."
The campaign will extend over the first six weeks of the 2010 school year (13 January to 28 February). It is being communicated through a variety of different communication channels which include billboard, mall and bus stop displays, advertising in taxis and trains, on train stations and over the radio, the web, and in leaflets and the printed media.
The seventeen billboards, mall displays, bus stop displays, and in-taxi and in-train posters carry the message: "Parents - did your child read, write and practise maths today?", and we believe that we will achieve a commuter impact of over 49 million over the six-week campaign.
"Commuternet is broadcasting the Western Cape Education Department's (WCED's) radio ads on public address systems on train station platforms from 05:00 to 09:00 and 17:00 to 19:00," said Grant.
"We expect the passenger impact to be 15 million over the six-week campaign." The WCED will also be communicating in three languages via eleven radio stations. These broadcasts are expected to reach a listenership of 6.5 million. Grant added that the WCED is distributing about 90 000 leaflets to low and average performing schools and parents of Foundation Phase learners. Advertisements will appear in 15 community newspapers, a regional version of Die Burger, Die Kaapse Son and the Daily Voice.
"We are also providing information of various kinds on the WCED's website, including tips on how to build literacy and numeracy skills at home; reading lists for holiday and leisure time reading for children of all ages; and links to online games to build literacy and numeracy skills," said Grant.
"We believe that if parents educate their children and encourage them to improve their reading and writing skills it will go a long way in helping us to achieve our targets in improving the academic performance in literacy and numeracy at primary school level," said Grant.