Gauteng MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi has announced plans to introduce Grade-R in primary schools across Gauteng by 2024.
The announcement was made during his midterm budget presentation at the Gauteng legislature on Wednesday.
The Gauteng education department has been given R49.2bn budget for this year to improve education in the province, News24 reports.
“Gauteng is committed to improving early childhood development, and more children are accessing this crucial building block of learning. Investment in Early Childhood Development (ECD) is well-documented to be one of the most effective, long-term strategies for poverty eradication,” MEC Lesufi was quoted saying in a News24 article.
Emphasising the importance of early childhood development, Lesufi said children received great benefits from pre-primary education.
Some of the benefits include brain development and gaining skills that will help children succeed early in life.
In a previous article, Head of the Learning Model at SPARK Schools Dhereshni Moodley said Grade-R is important for building a good foundation for children.
“I would really recommend that parents consider Grade-R, as a preparatory step towards formal education. Children thrive in a conducive learning environment that is nurturing and supportive. They learn social skills, problem-solving and start to understand routines and procedures,” she said.
Currently, Early Childhood Development (ECD) falls under the department of social development, but this will no longer be the case, as ECD will now be moved to the Department of Basic Education.