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The readiness of the South African education system for a pre-Grade R year

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Listed:
  • Janeli Kotzé

    () (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

Abstract

Investment in early childhood development (ECD) has the prospect of cultivating potential within individuals and can assist in bridging the social equity gap from a very young age. Over the past decade Grade R has been the strongest policy lever used by the Department of Basic Education to improve early learning. The National Development Plan calls for universal access to two years of early childhood development prior to entering Grade 1. This paper explores the merits of this proposal, given the specific South African context. More specifically, this analysis intends to bring new information to bear on three matters. The first relates to the demand side and aims to identify participation trends among four- and five-year-olds. The second objective is to consider the supply side and aims to understand the policy space in which pre-Grade R will function, the quality and quantity of infrastructure already in place, and the expertise of ECD practitioners. The final matter considers the implementation of a universally accessible pre-Grade R within a constrained system and the requirements to ensure that it will have a significant impact on those children most in need.

Suggested Citation

  • Janeli Kotzé, 2015. "The readiness of the South African education system for a pre-Grade R year," Working Papers 15/2015, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers248
    as

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    File URL: https://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2015/wp-15-2015.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2015
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Baker-Henningham, Helen & López Bóo, Florencia, 2010. "Early Childhood Stimulation Interventions in Developing Countries: A Comprehensive Literature Review," IZA Discussion Papers 5282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Nicholas Spaull & Janeli Kotze, 2014. "Starting Behind and Staying Behind in South Africa: The case of insurmountable learning deficits in mathematics," Working Papers 27/2014, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    3. repec:idb:brikps:publication-detail,7101.html?id=9402 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Baker-Henningham, Helen & López Bóo, Florencia, 2010. "Early Childhood Stimulation Interventions in Developing Countries: A Comprehensive Literature Review," IZA Discussion Papers 5282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Heckman, James J. & Moon, Seong Hyeok & Pinto, Rodrigo & Savelyev, Peter A. & Yavitz, Adam, 2010. "The rate of return to the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 114-128, February.
    6. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
    7. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Gertler, Paul, 2009. "The effect of pre-primary education on primary school performance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 219-234, February.
    8. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Manacorda, Marco, 2008. "Giving children a better start: Preschool attendance and school-age profiles," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1416-1440, June.
    9. Diana Warren & John P. Haisken-DeNew, 2013. "Early Bird Catches the Worm: The Causal Impact of Pre-school Participation and Teacher Qualifications on Year 3 National NAPLAN Cognitive Tests," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2013n34, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    10. Helen Baker-Henningham y Florencia López Boo, 2014. "Intervenciones de estimulación infantil temprana en los países en vías de desarrollo: lo que funciona, por qué y para quién," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, vol. 60, pages 120-186, January-D.
    11. Jere R. Behrman & Yingmei Cheng & Petra E. Todd, 2004. "Evaluating Preschool Programs When Length of Exposure to the Program Varies: A Nonparametric Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 108-132, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    National Development Plan; childhood development; quality preschool; pre Grade R; early childhood care and education; policy;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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