Phenduka and the GPLMS

  • Phenduka Literacy has been part of the GPLMS since January 2011.
  • The Phenduka GPLMS team consists of 6 FP coaches, 2 IP coaches and no Supervisors working in approximately 41 schools.
  • The Phenduka GPLMS project team is managed by Alison Beynon, who can be contacted at
About Phenduka

Since the year 2000, The Phenduka Literacy Project has been active in Alexandra, one of the poorest townships of South Africa. The project is officially registered as an NGO project, and is recognized as making a contribution to literacy upliftment by the Gauteng Department of Education.

The purpose of the programme is to help improve the teaching and learning of reading and writing in disadvantaged primary schools. Various national and international evaluations of literacy levels in South African schools suggest that less than a third of learners read at the appropriate level. Yet reading skills form the basis of almost all learning. To help children develop their skills, the programme uses the "balanced approach" to literacy learning. This is a carefully modulated mix between

  • a technical phonics approach giving learners the missing knowledge of sound-letter relationships that they need for decoding text
  • developing automaticity through the ‘look-say’ method and familiarity with high frequency words
  • the use of a more cultural story-based approach, in which story-telling, performance and story illustration develop the oracy required as the basis for reading and writing.

The Phenduka project faces the following tasks:

  1. To actively improve reading
  2. To develop patterns for teachers enabling them to apply these methods in the classroom and instruct educators on how to improve reading and writing
  3. To fully integrate remedial children back into their classes by applying this method and ensuring that they participate enthusiastically in the learning process. Their perception of learning is thus radically changed. School becomes "something to look forward to with pleasure and joy".
Contact Phenduka

Street Address 304 Pasteur Road, Rembrandt Park, Johannesburg 2090
Postal Address 304 Pasteur Road, Rembrandt Park, Johannesburg 2090
Co-ordinates -26.122604,28.128993
Telephone +27 011 3462155