Parents often pass low-literacy on to their kids
Children of low-literate parents are three times as likely to become low-literate themselves, the Reading and Writing Foundation found in an analysis. The foundation believes that the passing on of low literacy must be stopped because the number of low-literate people in the Netherlands is still growing.
About 11 percent of the Netherlands’ over 3 million parents with minor children are low literate. That is one in nine parents. Children of low-literate parents often start primary school with a language delay. That is already noticeable at the age of 2 years. It is often impossible to catch up if there is not enough attention and time for language and math at school. As a result, these children become the new generation of low-literate people, the foundation said.
In addition to having trouble with reading, writing, and math, low-literate parents often have difficulty using computers and smartphones. As a result, their children lack essential basic skills to participate in society.
“Parents are not always aware of their role in their child’s language development,” said director Geke van Velzen of the foundation. “It is important that they provide a language-rich environment. If these parents learn to read, calculate, and use the computer better themselves, they can set an even better example for their children. We must stop the passing on of low-literacy from parent to child.”
The foundation wants to reach low-literate parents better and encourage them to be more involved in their child’s development. During the Week of reading and writing, from September 8 to 15, the foundation will draw extra attention to the role of parents in their children’s language and school development. Companies, municipalities, and schools are organizing numerous activities focused on reading, writing, maths, and computers.