Mpumalanga focuses on Early Childhood Development

Friday, February 27, 2015

Pretoria – Mpumalanga will train more Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners in an effort to provide quality education for its youngest citizens.

“With quality being a key theme in our service provision agenda for the year, we have also undertaken to ensure that 600 child minders and 5 800 ECD specialists are trained,” Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza said.

Speaking on Friday during the State of the Province Address (SOPA), the Premier said the completion of the second phase of renovations at the province’s ECD institute will be prioritised so that trainees, who have travelled long distances to complete the critical training, can be accommodated.

“We have planned to provide readers and indoor play equipment for 90 000 learners in Grade R.

“Our contribution extends to both public schools and community centres, and we will be providing further support to 12 502 pre-grade R learners in identified community centres,” Premier Mabuza said.

He said the Maths, Science and Technology Academy will be used to stimulate interest and build capacity in maths and science from the foundation through to the intermediate phase.

“In 2015/16 alone, 160 academy feeder primary schools will be provided with resources in order to ensure optimal functionality.

“This, of course, includes human resources. We will be training 1 000 maths and science teachers through the academy on particular topics according to specific, identified learner needs,” Premier Mabuza said.

He said the province is dedicated to meeting the minimum norms and standards prescribed in the National Implementation Plan.

A number of aspects of the infrastructure provision have been prioritised for 2015/16 including construction of grade R facilities, the provision of laboratories and computer centres to all schools offering maths and science

Other priorities regarding infrastructure provision are the upgrading of special schools, and provision of sanitation facilities, water and electricity.

He said the province had planned a number of programmes to support teachers in the coming year, which include the roll out of a three year programme to train all teachers in the use of ICT to broaden and improve education.

“In 2015/16, we will introduce the programmes that we have developed to track out learners throughout the schooling system,” Premier Mabuza said.

The system will enable the province to trace each learner’s journey through the schooling system.

The province will also investigate and address the root causes of the dropout rate.

Premier Mabuza said the new curriculum for South African Sign Language has also been approved and selected teachers would receive the training required to ensure access to education for deaf learners.

“This year, we will partner with SASOL to stage one of the biggest career exhibitions in Mpumalanga which will draw grade 7-12 learners from across the country.”

Techno X is an exhibition that focuses on displays, workshops, tours, talks and hands-on activities aimed at enthusing learners and students to study in the fields of science, maths, engineering and technology. –