Early Childhood Development Handed Over To Education Department

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After years of preparation, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will officially receive the Early Childhood Development (ECD) function from the Department of Social Development (DSD). 

 


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After years of preparation, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will officially receive the Early Childhood Development (ECD) function from the Department of Social Development (DSD). 

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) explained that the handover is the culmination of a process that was first announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his 2019 State of the Nation Address (SONA). 

The move will result in the migration of the responsibility of ECD centres from the DSD to the DBE. 

Human Resources, Finance and Budgets, Legislation and Contracts, Immovable and Movable Assets as well as Stakeholder Engagement of ECD will now fall under the responsibility of the DBE.   

Ramphosa explained that the move will also ensure that children access compulsory ECD for two years before entering grade 1. An additional priority that the migration hopes to achieve is to improve reading comprehension in the first years of school 

Ramaphosa said, “This is essential in equipping children to succeed in education, in work and life and it is possibly the single most important factor in overcoming poverty, unemployment and inequality”

The Director-General for the DBE, Mr Mathanzima Mweli, says the DBE welcomes the shift of ECD function from the DSD. He believes that it will fill in the missing piece of the education and development jigsaw puzzle.

Last year, ECD practitioners expressed their concerns to parliament regarding the migration. This, as technical and structural issues remained unclarified. 

Parliament explained that educators were frustrated with the lack of clarity about the migration, especially because they are unsure about the impact it will have on the sector.

Their concerns relate to the absorption and training of ECD teachers, existing resources and plans, as well as ECD practitioners who are above the age of 60.

 

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