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Children have a right to not only survive but thrive, by Anna Lusty
28 Aug 2018
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child obliges states to ensure children’s survival and development “to the maximum extent possible”. This means children have a right to not only survive but to thrive.
The majority of South Africa’s children remain marginalised, excluded and exposed to excessive levels of violence:
- An estimated one in three children are victims of sexual violence and physical abuse before they reach the age of 18 years. (The Optimus Study on Child Abuse, Violence and Neglect in South Africa 2016)
- More than a quarter of children under five are stunted due to poor nutrition (South African Demographic Health Survey 2016)
- 78% of children cannot read fluently and with comprehension in any language by the end of Grade 4 (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study 2016). Poor reading skills undermine learners chances of receiving a quality education and minimise their opportunities for employment and active engagement in society.
SOS Africa’s staff are currently planning our education programmes for 2019 incorporating the recommendations made by PIRLS 2016 which include:
- Strengthening teaching of reading literacy.
- Increasing proportion of time children spend on reading
- Providing and increase resources such as libraries
- Providing ‘e learning’ opportunities from foundation phase
We are looking at new and innovative ways to work with our children so that they remain open and motivated to learn. Although literacy must take a front seat in all that we do, we must also embrace other key areas such as nutrition, safety and key life skills, as well as offering responsive caregiving.
We continue to work hard to ensure that we make a lasting impact on every child that walks through our doors.
Anna Lusty (SOS Africa, Western Cape)
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