Western Cape Education Minister Cameron Dugmore presented the province’s Education Budget for 2008/09 today. Of interest is the following:
- ECD: Funding for Early Childhood Development (ECD) including Grade R increases by 37.6% to R226.792 million in order to expand enrolment and improve quality. This includes R91,372 million to ensure universal enrolment of all 5-year-olds by 2010.
- Literacy and numeracy: There will be ongoing intensive literacy and numeracy support in schools where results are below par, with 100 officials and 450 Learning Support Teachers deployed since 2007. There is continued deployment of 510 Teaching Assistants (TAs) in the Foundation Phase. There is a strong Family Literacy pilot where our TAs are working with 280 families. We will launch a major Family Literacy radio campaign next month to reach parents in poor communities.
- Mother-tongue education: The Project schools, which wrote their Grade 6 WCED tests through the medium of isiXhosa have multiplied their literacy scores by between three-fold and five-fold, and shown signs of progress in almost all Numeracy topics too. Since this was the first year of inception of the plan, such progress is remarkably encouraging.
It is encouraging that ECD is being invested in. (See my post about the National Education Budget for why.) Usually these speeches mostly focus on what’s going right, as opposed to what’s going wrong, so it’s hard to tell whether a 37.6% increase in ECD funding is enough. Still, it can’t be a bad thing.
It’s also encouraging to see mother-tongue education being researched in the province.
Image of Cameron Dugmore from Capegateway.gov.za (All rights reserved)