The Literacy and Numeracy Research Programme, known as the 3Rs project, is a five year (2007-2011) research programme, funded by the Royal Netherlands Embassy - coordinated by the Education and Skills Development Programme of the Human Sciences Research Council.
The name 3Rs derives from a common concern with understanding blockages to the effective learning of reading, writing and arithmetic on the part of learners from disadvantaged homes. The overall aim of the programme is to contribute towards developing the capacity of the education system to ensure that children in South Africa complete a full cycle of good quality basic education through improving the literacy and numeracy skills of learners.
In 2006, a consortium comprising, the Education Policy Consortium (EPC), the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), JET Education Services (JET), and the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA) was established to conduct research on the various dimensions of the literacy and numeracy challenge in South African schools. This Consortium intends to explore specific policy options as well as establishing models of good practice to support the Department of Education in its ongoing efforts to improve the quality of education.