by Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development
It is alarming that 1609 Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners in Gauteng do not have qualifications.
This was revealed to me by the MEC for Social Development, Nandi Mayethula-Khoza, in reply to my written questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
According to the MEC Mayathula-Khoza, the training of ECD practitioners is the competency of the Department of Education as prescribed by White Paper 5 on ECD.
ECD is crucial in the development of children between the ages of 0-6 years, as they are taught the basics that they need to flourish at school.
ECD practitioners need to understand how children develop mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and socially through this period. It is important to understand these fundamentals because 0 to 6 years is a critical stage of development which has a huge influence on a child’s future and his or her potential to excel academically in later years. If ECD practitioners are not properly equipped to do their job, this will have a negative impact on this key foundational phase of learning.
The DA believes that early childhood development is crucial in preparing children for school, particularly where children come from environments of poverty and deprivation.
The DA calls on the MEC for Social Development, Mayathula-Khoza and the MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi to urgently ensure that all ECD practitioners are equipped with the necessary skills and qualifications needed to provide quality education to our children.
Total Change is needed to ensure that the people of Gauteng and particularly our vulnerable young children are given the best foundation to prepare them for their schooling career.