JET Exchanges 5/2023: The Grade R Mathematics and Language Improvement Programme

The 5th JET Exchanges shares information about the Grade R Mathematics and Language Improvement Programme (MLIP) in which JET is a partner, describing the context in which the programme is being implemented before providing details on the programme itself. Foundational mathematics and literacy skills are premier issues in South African classrooms, both for learners as well as educators. South Africa has invested in several reading and mathematics interventions in the past years; however, setbacks like the COVID-19 pandemic rolled back progress that had been made. According to a background report by Spaull for the 2030 Reading Panel, If learning loss estimates are correct and SA does manage to get back onto the prepandemic improvement trajectory, it will still take 86 years from 2023 up to 2108 until all Grade 4 children can read for meaning in SA (Spaull, 2023, 8). Currently, 65% of learners lack the skills needed to progress in language and mathematics (Gauteng Education Development Trust, 2021, 7). Considering the challenging landscape for advancing effective mathematics and literacy interventions, the Grade R MLIP has led efforts toward improving outcomes in these areas for all schools in Gauteng Province offering Grade R from 2022 through 2024.