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Edna Freinkel (1932 - )

The Order of the Baobab in

Edna Freinkel (1932 - ) Awarded for:
Her lifelong dedication to the development of specialised learning methods for the learning impaired in South Africa.

Profile of Edna Freinkel

Edna Freinkel was born in Johannesburg in 1932. In 1959, she matriculated at Durban Girls' High School with distinctions in English and Geography.

Freinkel became interested in learning disabilities and dyslexia when as a young woman she was exposed to the work of her late mother, Rebecca Ostrowiak. She assisted in systematising her mother’s method of teaching reading using a multidimensional approach and having it published in 1965 as the series Teach any Child or Adult to Read.

In 1969 she, together with her mother, established the Rebecca Ostrowiak School of Reading in Germiston, which they ran together. Rebecca Ostrowiak passed away in 1981.

Freinkel dedicated her life to assisting the learning-impaired through her focus on reading and dyslexia. Through the writing of course material and her teaching, she produced scores of teachers trained in the Rebecca Ostrowiak method of the teaching of reading in South Africa.

She delivered numerous papers at international conferences and promoted interest in dyslexia as a learning disability throughout South Africa. In 1995, Freinkel also trained prisoners at the Krugersdorp Prison to teach functionally illiterate inmates.

Freinkel's dedication to the cause of learning disabilities in South Africa has made a lasting impact on the lives of thousands of South Africans.