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Grade 7s will test their numerical literary on International Literacy Day

Last Updated Sep 2017

Johannesburg, Tuesday 5 September 2017 – This Friday, 8 September, marks the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day. To mark this occasion, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) will put the numerical literacy rate of grade 7s around the country to the test through its first-ever SAICA Quiz.

Countries with a more skilled workforce in both numerical and reading literacy terms tend to have citizens with higher pay and better employment prospects. This, ultimately translates into higher rates of economic growth.  Currently, South Africa significantly underperforms in terms of international education standards, particularly when it comes to mathematics and English literacy.

SAICA, together with the accounting profession, is constantly working to achieve this aim and also to help create a South Africa where every person is equipped to make informed financial decisions.  As an institute with a vested interest in ensuring that our country has more citizens - especially young adults - who are numerically literate, the Institute runs various school projects aimed at helping to remedy the country’s low numeracy skills. Among these projects is the new SAICA Quiz, which targets Grade 7 learners. And although there are some attractive prizes (such as tablets, calculators, dictionaries, and Sudoko games) available for those who perform best in the quiz, the real winner will be the country.

‘With this quiz, SAICA has targeted grade 7 learners for two very specific reasons,’ explains Gugu Makhanya, SAICA’s Senior Executive: Transformation & Growth. ‘The first reason is linked to recent statistics which revealed that, at 55.9%, South Africa’s youth unemployment statistics are the highest they have ever been. Frighteningly, it is widely documented that extremely high youth unemployment levels are closely linked to the quality of schooling – in particular numeracy, literacy and mathematical competency. Yet, over the years international studies have shown that South Africa has the worst educational outcomes in these subjects. Remedying these figures is something SAICA, as a key stakeholder in the South African economy, has made one of its top priorities.

‘The second reason is that the SAICA Quiz forms an integral part of our efforts to expand SAICA’s career awareness to include lower grades. The quiz is designed in such a way that school learners are made to appreciate the importance of numeracy and literacy skills towards studying a career in chartered accountancy. Mathematics and English are key subjects for one to be admitted into a BCom Accounting degree at university,’ Makhanya continues.

‘As this is the pilot year of the quiz, we have decided to run it nationwide with only two districts per province participating, for a total of 100 learners from each province. We have been very strategic in our choice of which districts will take part.’

The following districts will be participating in this year’s SAICA Quiz because they have been flagged as having problematic pass marks in these areas by the provincial departments of education:

Province

District

Eastern Cape

Butterworth

East London

Free State

Fezile Dabi

Xhariep 

Gauteng

Sedibeng West

Tshwane North

KwaZulu-Natal

Ugu

Umlazi

Limpopo

Mopani

Vhembe

Mpumalanga

Enhlanzeni

Gert Sibande

Northern Cape

Frances Baard

Pixley ka Seme

North West

Dr Kenneth Kaunda

Dr R.S Mompati

Western Cape

Cape Winelands

Metro Central

About SAICA:
The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 40 000 members who are chartered accountants [CAs(SA)] and hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in their spheres of business operation. Most of these members operate in commerce and industry, and play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development.

About the Thuthuka Bursary Fund and Education Upliftment Project:
One of SAICA’s prime goals is to contribute towards strengthening the country’s economy by playing a significant and leading role in transformation and skills development. The Thuthuka Education Upliftment Project, a pioneering initiative to promote transformation in the profession, was launched in the Eastern Cape in 2002 and is fast growing into a national project.

Thuthuka’s objective is to transform the demographics of the profession to reflect those of the country in terms of race and gender, and provide educational support to African learners and students for the benefit of the profession, while simultaneously helping to uplift communities. Therefore, SAICA prides itself in leading the chartered accountancy profession as a socially responsible driver of business and skills development by supporting and encouraging enterprise development initiatives.

SAICA Media Contact
Ms Karin Iten
Project Manager: Marketing and Communications
SAICA Nation Building Division
Tel: ‪011 621 6913
Email: karini@saica.co.za

Ms Nwabisa Tsengiwe
Senior Executive: Marketing, Communication and PR
SAICA Nation Building Division
Tel: ‪011 621 6878
Email: nwabisat@saica.co.za

 
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