Development plan proposes two years of pre-school for children
CHILDREN should have two years of compulsory quality pre-school education, the National Development Plan proposes.
The plan estimates that in 2030 South Africa will have about four million children under three years, nearly two million in the four to five years age group and just under one million aged six.
"The quality and coverage of early childhood development services for children up to four years is poor. Grade R is the strongest element of pre-school learning and support."
The plan, unveiled by National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel this week, suggests that some of the ways to improve early childhood development include increased funding and training practitioners.
According to the South African Institute for Race Relations, about 68% of children aged four and below do not go to early childhood development centres.
Centres include crèches, playgroups, nursery schools and pre-primary schools.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says Grade R enrolments doubled between 2003 and 2011.
In 2010 only 707,203 pupils attended Grade R.
WHAT YOUNG MOTHERS SAY:
Unathi Mxadi, 23, mother of a two-year-old from Orlando: "It is a good idea but money is a problem. This new school will probably be more expensive".
Mpho Rikhotso, 27, mother of two toddlers from Klipspruit: "I don't see the point of it. What is Grade R for? Grade R prepares children for Grade 1".
Monde Kakobe, 32, unemployed mother of a four-year-old from Tshiawelo: "It is a good thing. The child will not struggle in Grade 1 with this idea".