'Celebrating Education Excellence' at the Open Book Festival
On 17 September 2014, we are teaming up with a number of organisations and individuals to host two sessions at the 2014 Open Book Festival in Cape Town, entitled, 'Celebrating Education Excellence'. Taking us on a journey from Early Childhood Development to Fixing Our Schools, with Professor Jonathan Jansen, and special live performances by Vusi Mahlasela.
Tickets are available through Open Book Cape Town on www.openbookfestival.co.za at R40 per session.
A joint effort is needed to put an end to deprivation
Despite the global recognition of the importance of upholding children’s rights, millions of children in South Africa still suffer from poverty, homelessness, abuse, neglect, preventable diseases, and unequal access to education. In order for our country to flourish, it is these basic human rights that need protecting.
In this article, we explore key areas affecting the lives of young children. Some areas show positive progress, with others showing less successful results.
The above information was taken from 'A joint effort is needed to put an end to deprivation' by Lauren van Niekerk and Michaela Ashley-Cooper; you can access a full copy of this here.
City of Cape Town ECD Strategy
The City of Cape Town released it's Early Childhood Development Policy (#12398A), revised and approved on 04 December 2013.
To download a copy of this policy, click here: City of Cape Town ECD Policy
To view more from the City of Cape Town Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate, follow this link: City of Cape Town Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate
Early Childhood Education: The Difference Between Policy and Reality
“In making ECD a reality for our children, several challenges emerge which need to be overcome if we are to ensure that young children have their constitutional, social, educational and economic rights met. The main challenges are: political will, systemic challenges and implementation challenges....
In order to achieve the NDP vision and outcomes, a number of immediate actions are required. These include the following: the mobilisation of political will; the crafting of targeted ECD legislation; a substantial increase in funding; increase in provision rates and ECD programme quality; establishment of minimum training qualifications for ECD teachers; respect for ECD and Grade R teachers; increase in the competencies of government ECD officials; co-operation with the non-profit sector; a realistic and effective ECD implementation plan and costing; a national, integrated monitoring and evaluation system...
South Africa has made some progress in meeting the rights and needs of young children, but so much more needs to be done. Eighteen years after the historic democratic elections, we still fail our youngest children and their families in many respects. Millions of young children continue to be denied access to quality ECD programmes and services. Given the immense social, educational and economic benefits of quality ECD opportunities it is imperative that every child has such an opportunity. This is an opportunity that could determine not only the destiny of a child, but also that of a nation.”
The above information was taken from the article “Early Childhood Education: The Difference Between Policy and Reality” by Eric Atmore, Michaela Ashley-Cooper, and Lauren van Niekerk, you can access a full copy of this article here.
Mathematics is Much More Than Counting
A new report on mathematics in the early years aims to help tackle the crisis of low mathematics achievement in South Africa.
Much More Than Counting: Supporting mathematics development between birth and five years explores the purpose and nature of mathematics learning during the early years and sets out a framework for delivery in preschools and homes.
We have included copies of the press release, with additional information on the report, and the report itself, below, for your interest.
Special thanks to Cally Kühne from the University of Cape Town for sharing these documents with us.
Challenges facing the early childhood development sector in South Africa
The majority of young children in South Africa are negatively impacted by a range of social and economic inequalities.
Apartheid and the resultant socio-economic inequalities have created a childhood of adversity for most black South African children in the country, including inadequate access to health care, education, social services and quality nutrition. This has undermined the development of our children.
There has no doubt been progress in South Africa since 1994, both quantitatively and qualitatively: there have been improvements in Grade R and ECD provision over the past eighteen years; the number of children in Grade R has trebled since 2001 and quality has improved; government expenditure on Grade R has increased three-fold since 2008/09; the number of ECD centres registered with the national department of Social Development has increased to 19,500 and there are currently approximately 836,000 children in a registered ECD centres, of which 488,000 (58%) received the ECD subsidy.
Notwithstanding the progress made in early childhood development provision since 1994, children in South Africa still face significant challenges; with major gaps in infrastructure, teacher training, nutrition, ECD programming, institutional capacity and funding. It is fair to say that much work is still needed, if we want to improve the quality of children’s lives in South Africa and say with confidence that the needs of our youngest children are truly being met.
The above information was taken from Challenges facing the early childhood development sector in South Africa by Michaela Ashley-Cooper, Eric Atmore and Lauren van Niekerk, you can access a full copy of this here.