250 million primary aged children worldwide are not learning to read and write – 130 million of whom have completed four years of education. The fact that so many children are failing to learn to read is a crisis that must be reversed urgently. In a new report released on International Literacy Day on 8th Sept, 2016, Save the Children calls for countries to prioritise and invest in efforts to ensure all children are able to read.

‘Lessons in Literacy: 8 Principles to Ensure Every Last Child Can Read’ draws on 35 literacy programmes implemented by Save the Children in 22 countries between 2012 and 2015.

Across multiple countries and contexts, a range of critical factors emerged time and again as the most important for ensuring that children learn to read. These are presented in the report as the 8 principles for effective literacy action. The 8 principles provide a framework for helping countries design national action plans to improve children’s literacy in the crucial early years of primary school.

“Although the Millennium Development Goals helped more children into school, the world paid too little attention to whether children actually learn. Unless children learn to read, we will not reverse the learning crisis that millions of girls and boys experience” said Tove R. Wang, CEO of Save the Children Norway and Head of Save the Children’s Education Global Theme.

8 Principles to Ensure Every Last Child Can Read:

  1. Start early
  2. More and better books
  3. Engage parents and communities
  4. Ensure teachers can teach reading
  5. Language matters
  6. Practice, practice, practice
  7. Assess & track
  8. Policy