Two more years of schooling before Grade 1 will become compulsory in South Africa says Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga as the department prepares to table a new bill this year.
This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country’s increased investment in Early Childhood Development (ECD) and earlier school learning will bring great economic benefits in the next two decades.
“We are in the process of declaring the two years prior to Grade 1 compulsory. The Basic Education Amendment Bill, which pronounces on this, will be tabled in Parliament this year,” she Motshekga.
This goes hand in hand with moving the Early Childhood Development function from the Department of Social Development to the Department of Basic Education.
Two proclamations have been drafted, one will be signed by the President as a national proclamation and the other will be signed by Premiers from each province as a provincial proclamation.
A framework for the ECD is currently being finalised and will be released early in the 2020/21 financial year for brand consultations.
“We are in the process of conducting a readiness assessment of the DBE [Department of Basic Education] readiness to receive and effectively deliver the ECD function,” said Motshekga.
According to the Minister, the department is already preparing young people for the Fourth Industrial Revolution following a report by the World Economic Forum that roughly 60% of current jobs will become non-existent within the next decade.
Along with these exciting changes, the department has also introduced a Coding and Robotics Curriculum for Grade R – 9 with the assistance of scholars and industry experts.
The new curriculum will be fully implemented by 2022.