school early development

Lindiwe Zulu announced compulsory changes coming to SA schools soon. Image via Twitter: @_AfricanSoil

Attention parents: These school changes will soon be compulsory for kids

The Department of Basic Education is making big changes to the country’s schooling system to ‘improve education and job outcomes’.

school early development

Lindiwe Zulu announced compulsory changes coming to SA schools soon. Image via Twitter: @_AfricanSoil

The Department of Basic Education has taken up the responsibility of handling early childhood development in South Africa and its first step is seemingly to pave the way for earlier schooling in the country. Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu announced on 1 April this year that the DBE will be making certain school changes compulsory regarding earlier schooling in the near future.

More important school changes will soon be compulsory in SA

In an effort to better education and the quality of learning at schools, the Department of Social Development announced that the responsibility of overtaking early childhood development would be handed over to the Department of Basic Education (DBE).

As part of its plans to get the ball rolling, DBE has announced that two years of early childhood development (ECD) will soon be compulsory for all children before they enter the formal school system in grade one.

Minister Lindiwe Zulu, who spoke at a handover event last week, explained that the move will improve education as well as job outcomes in the country because children would essentially be spending more time at school learning how to read and do maths.

ALSO READ: Goodbye English? Big language changes scheduled for SA schools

“The latest employment data is painting a picture that says unemployment has climbed to 35.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021. The migration of the ECD function from Social Development to Basic Education should serve as a means by which we definitively challenge this jobs’ market narrative,” said according to a BusinessTech article.

“Resulting from this handover should be an increase of our collective investments in the foundation of the prospects of South Africa’s children. This is the opportunity to start dismantling inter-generational poverty among all our people.”

Other big changes

The compulsory schooling change is included in the draft Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) bill, is placed alongside a number of other changes which include:

Initiation practices: Initiation practices in a hostel accommodating learners and during a school activity are strictly prohibited.

Governing body disclosures: Members of a school governing body, like other public officials, will be required to disclose on an annual basis their financial interests and the financial interests of their spouse, partner, and immediate family members.

Homeschooling: The bill makes it clear what home-schooling is and confirms that learners may be home-schooled and registered as home-schooled learners.

Business with the state: The bill prohibits educators from conducting business with the state or from being a director of a public or private company conducting business with the state. It will be seen as an offense should an educator contravene the abovementioned provision.

Compulsory attendance: A fine/12 months imprisonment will be enforced on parents who do not make sure school attendance is adhered to by learners.

Absenteeism: The bill states that teachers, principals, and school governing bodies will be responsible for learners in the schooling community by making sure about the learner’s whereabouts if he/she is absent for three days or more.

Corporal punishment: Corporal punishment is strictly prohibited. Teachers, principals, and other staff at a school will not punish learners at a school, during a school activity, or in a hostel accommodating learners of a school.

ALSO READ: School admissions 2023: Get ready parents, 15 days to go!