Literacy & numeracy: How far is your workplace?

Government, labour, business and community organisations committed themselves at the Growth and Development Summit (GDS) to promoting literacy and numeracy.

The organisations agreed that by March 2005, at least 70% of the country's workers would at least have basic literacy and numeracy skills to Level 1 of the National Qualification Framework (NQF). This level is equivalent to grade 9 in the schooling system or the old standard 7.

The above target is not new. It is the first objective of the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS). The National Skills Authority set the target and recommended it to the Minister of Labour.

With only nineteen months to go before the agreed date is reached, how far is your workplace? How many of your fellow workers are able to read and write? What is your company doing?

According to recent Census 2001 results, 17,9% of South Africa's population aged 20 or more have no formal education. The results show that 71,1% of those in this 20 years or more bracket have not reached grade 12 or the old matric.

They also reveal that only 12,4 % of all those doing elementary jobs have a grade 12 certificate. This figure rises to a paltry 20,2% amongst plant and machine operators. Write to us and let other workers know what is happening at your plant.


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