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Cognitive stunting leaves SA children up to 'two years behind' claims expert

13 October 2021 5:40 PM
Tags:
Education
Teaching
learners

John Maytham speaks to independent education consultant Dr Louis Benjamin about the cognitive stunting of South African children.

- Some South African children are cognitively two years behind the 'average child' says educational consultant Dr Louis Benjamin

- Benjamin claims the loss of human potential is the biggest issue facing the country


© jovannig/123rf

Where is the commission that will investigate the loss of human potential in our country ask educational expert Dr Louis Benjamin in his latest opinion piece for theDaily Maverick?

Benjamin says the issue of lost potential is the biggest one facing South Africa today.

Cognitive stunting is not often spoken about, but it is being inflicted upon generation after generation in our country, he writes.

Speaking to Cape Talk's John Maytham he says cognitive stunting is the result of failing to put children first.

In basic terms, it means limiting their cognitive abilities right from the very onset.

Dr Louis Benjamin, Independent educational consultant/ Author - Basic Concepts Programme

Right from the get-go children are not being stretched or challenged.

Dr Louis Benjamin, Independent educational consultant/ Author - Basic Concepts Programme

Benjamin says often, children starting school are one or two years behind the 'average child'.

He admits, that the issue is one primarily, but not exclusively, seen in children from low-income households.

It's in these communities where we find these children with massive cognitive delays.

Dr Louis Benjamin, Independent educational consultant/ Author - Basic Concepts Programme

Often this is multi-generations of deprivation.

Dr Louis Benjamin, Independent educational consultant/ Author - Basic Concepts Programme

It is a reversible issue, says Benjamin, but the key is actioning cognitive interventions sooner rather than later.

The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be.

Dr Louis Benjamin, Independent educational consultant/ Author - Basic Concepts Programme

RELATED: Hundred years of reductive race essentialist research at Stellenbosch University




13 October 2021 5:40 PM
Tags:
Education
Teaching
learners

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