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Government announces new rules for school entry

by Staff reporter
20 Jul 2017 at 06:35hrs | Views
THE Government has announced that pupils who do not attend Early Childhood Development at registered institutions will no longer be able to proceed to Grade 1 countrywide and this new system comes into effect next year.

The move is in response to the mushrooming of unregistered child day care centres in most cities and towns.

Speaking at Mpumelelo Primary School in Mpopoma suburb after presenting it the Secretary's Bell award for 2017, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education permanent secretary, Dr Sylvia Utete-Masango said all parents who took their children to unregistered centres were wasting their children's time as they would be forced to start afresh at conventional schools.

Dr Utete-Masango said: "Because so many parents have turned out here today, I want to say this very clearly so that those who did not know will no longer use 'I did not know' as an excuse. Do not take your children to bogus ECD centres. These ones that have sprouted around cities that are not registered are causing problems. They are so cunning and inviting and purport to be elitist and uphold so called high standards like being English speaking only institutions. Be warned!"

"Children from such centres will not proceed to Grade One. They will need to go to a conventional institution and start from ECD level. Imagine a child who is seven or eight years old, joining four-year olds in the ECD A class because of his or her parents' decision," she said.

Dr Utete-Masango took the opportunity to urge school heads and their school development committees to prioritise infrastructure development for ECD pupils, which she said was yet to reach the required standards at most schools around the country.

"Put your priorities right. There should be proper infrastructure at all schools, especially for our ECD pupils. Pupils are learning in makeshift classrooms yet schools are busy buying buses, which cost around $200 000 each. Yes, it is true, we have seen it happening, " said Dr Utete-Masango.

She applauded Mpumelelo primary school parents for supporting activities at the school as demonstrated by their attendance at yesterday's event.

"I am glad that the parents here came in their numbers to support their children unlike what I witnessed at some schools where such events were held," she said.

Mpumelelo Primary School opened its doors in 1961 with seven teachers and 201 pupils. Today, it has a 33 teachers and 1 315 pupils.

It received the Secretary's Bell award for the first time.

The prize comprised 45 laptops for an e-learning classroom, a Projector and an interactive board, all worth $10 000. The prize was sponsored by FBC Bank.

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Source - chronicle
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