WCED Launches Grade R Start-up Kits | Western Cape Government



WCED Launches Grade R Start-up Kits

17 March 2005
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has launched special start-up kits to support teaching and learning in Grade R, especially in poor communities.

The kits are among the "Easter projects" identified for fast tracking to meet targets set by the Premier for completion by the end of April.

Speaking at a ceremony at the Marconi Beam Primary School in Milnerton, Education MEC Cameron Dugmore said: "The kits form part of a broader strategy to boost Early Childhood Development (ECD), in conjunction with other partners, including Health, Social Services, local government and non-governmental organisations".

"The kits will help learners to achieve the outcomes expected of them in the Revised National Curriculum for Grade R, and will help teachers to ensure that the children have been properly assessed".

MEC Dugmore said the government is committed to ensure that all children "develop their full potential as active, responsible and fulfilled citizens who can make a meaningful contribution to our economy".

The WCED is providing the kits to 32 preprimary schools initially, supported by a training programme for teachers. The kit contains materials for about 30 activities, including books, puzzles, building blocks, puppets and pegboards, among other items.

The materials include a manual in the language of teaching and learning of the majority of the learners at each school. The manual is also available in all three languages of the province on a compact disc.

The manual provides advice on how to use and maintain the equipment, how to set up an appropriate classroom environment, along with guidelines on how to set up an inventory for managing the materials.

Each activity is designed to support teaching and learning of outcomes required by the curriculum.

These outcomes include listening for information, communicating confidently, reading, writing, thinking and reasoning, as well as using sounds, words and grammar to create sentences, counting and calculating, measuring, developing physically and showing understanding for diverse cultures and religions.

The WCED plans to distribute the kits to primary schools in all regions of the Western Cape, including rural and urban areas, as it seeks to expand access to quality Grade R schooling in the province, particularly in poor communities.

The provincial government's efforts to expand access to ECD and Grade R form part of the province's Human Capital Development Strategy, to ensure an integrated approach to the physical, social and cognitive development of children aged nought to four.

The strategy also aims to ensure access to high quality Grade R tuition to all five-year-olds so that they are ready for school learning.

Government is committed to ensure universal access to all Grade R learners by 2010. Based on current enrolment figures, this means the department has to accommodate about 80,000 learners.

Already the department accommodates about 50,000 learners in Grade R, and the department is committed to progressively increase its intake with 5,000 every year.

"We are confident that we can meet this target, and I am sure this will go a long way in our efforts of building a learning home for all our children," said MEC Dugmore. For enquiries, contact Gert Witbooi: 082 550 3938

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