Gauteng MEC for Education and Youth Development Panyaza Lesufi has unveiled the department’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) Grade R roadmap 2019-2024.
The department convened a summit in Randburg, Johannesburg on Saturday to outline their strategy. ECD roadmap will focus expanding Grade R to all public primary schools regardless of their socio-economic status. In addition, private Grade R sites will be registered through the introduction of provincial regulations. This is being done to ensure that there is an adequate mix of public, private and community-based Grade R sites.
The purpose of the said Summit is to relate and interact with all stakeholders on preparations to introduce Grade RR and the commitment in making Grade R universal.
Speaking at the summit, Lesufi said that ECD is the foundation of education.
“We have convened you today with one thing in mind, we want to take you through our vision, the path we want you to follow and our thinking through our plans to make ECD in Gauteng the best ECD sector in our country,” Lesufi said.
In the State of the Nation Address on February 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa proposed that ECD move from the Department of Social Development to Education.
“This year, we will migrate responsibility for ECD centres from Social Development to Basic Education, and proceed with the process towards two years of compulsory ECD for all children before they enter Grade 1,” Said President Ramaphosa.
The ever-vigorous MEC has since invested more into early childhood development.
Lesufi said the department would revamp unused government buildings and form partnerships with churches or any other structure that can be used for Grade R facilities. 1
“We are committing ourselves as a department to move with speed to expand and have the proper infrastructure in our schools for Grade R. The most beautiful sight of a school should be Grade R classes,” said Lesufi.