The Department of Basic Education Annual Report for the 2014/15 period documents a number of measures implemented to address the challenges in the quality of ECD for children aged 0-4 and Grade R highlighted in ECD audit conducted by the DSD in 2013 as well as the report on “The Impact of the Introduction of Grade R on Learning Outcomes”. Notably it:
- Is working towards Grade R becoming compulsory by 2019
- Has sought to expand the availability of the National Curriculum Framework for children aged 0-4 among registered ECD centres
- Has engaged in a consultative review of the occupational competencies for a new level 4 ECD qualification
- Has, in the case of Grade R, sought to strengthen the enabling policy and resourcing environment to ensure the full integration of this year of pre-school education into the formal education system.
The DBE notes that at the end of the 2015 financial year, progress has been made. However, quality remains an ongoing problem. Thus, its 2015/16 – 2019/20 Strategic Plan aims specifically to improve the quality of ECD with a focus on improving access to Grade R through the improved supply of learning materials and improving the qualifications of Grade R teachers.
Notably it will be working to:
- Improve the quality of teachers in the Foundation Phase and Grade R
- Provide Grade R workbooks
- Improve access and support for learners with disabilities
- Improve monitoring of reading in the Foundation Phase.
Article by Patricia Martin, advocacyaid.com