Early Childhood Education: The ultimate key to improving our education system?


The South African education system takes center stage this week as anxious parents (and their even more anxious kids) await the details of the NSC 2017 matric results. 

The announcement was made live yesterday on national television by Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga. 

And despite high expectations of an increase from last year’s 76.2% matric pass rate, advocates of Early Childhood Education (ECE) sector believe now is the perfect time to take a big-picture look at the state of education in our country. 

According to Candice Potgieter, CEO of the non-profit the Unlimited Child, a good foundation is the ultimate key to successful schooling.

“…approximately less than 50% of preschool children in disadvantaged communities in South Africa currently have access to quality ECE,” says Potgieter, and that this dismal figure is clearly reflected year after year in the success and failure of our matriculants. 

“Research such as the longitudinal study conducted by James Heckman has shown that children who have been through an early childhood development (ECD) programme are more likely to thrive in school, embark on tertiary education, find a job and eventually make a positive contribution in creating the foundation for a prosperous society,” she urges. 

Placing greater emphasis on this all-important foundational phase certainly requires long-term vision but one which would mean greater success for the country as a whole. 

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How will you be educating your preschooler? Home school? Montessori? Tell us by emailing to chatback@parent.com and we could publish your story. Do let us know if you'd like to stay anonymous.  

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