One in ten sixth grade pupils at primary school is at risk of illiteracy, according to Education Ministry figures for the previous academic year published by Phileleftheros on Thursday.
It said that the risk rate was 9.7% for illiteracy and 10.3% for innumeracy. And 5.1% of these former sixth formers are at risk of both.
Figures for third grade primary school pupils show 12.6% at risk of illiteracy,13.8% at risk of innumeracy and 7.5% for both.
The results are based on standardised tests carried out every year among third and sixth year primary school pupils. Children who are at risk at identified and their schools and parents notified.
Based on the results of these studies risks tend to be higher among boys, non-Cypriot children and children who started school younger than six.
Head of primary school education Christos Hadjiathanasiou noted the importance of the recent decision to raise the age for school entry (from the current 5 years and 8 months to 5 years and 10 months in 2020 – 2021 and six years in 2021 – 2022) as is the case in most countries in Europe.
Since the academic year of 2016 – 2017, the ministry has been implementing a pilot support programme at 33 primary schools with higher rates of children at risk of illiteracy. Support was given to 432 children in Greek and 375 children in maths in 2016-2017, 467 in Greek and 437 in maths in 2017 – 2018 and 457 in Greek and 447 in maths the current academic year 2018 – 2019.
Hadjiathanasiou said that preempting illiteracy and innumeracy by identifying and supporting children most at risk was a ministry priority.