The issues President Cyril Ramaphosa raised in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday night would resonate with many South Africans, GOOD leader Patricia de Lille said.
“The noise and all the issues the president raised will resonate with many South Africans but, you know, for me I just had the feeling, “is it the same country we are talking about? Is it the same reality that we face outside there?” she said.
“I also heard the president speak about more commissions and more new plans – but my advice this time to the president – I’m wondering what happened to the previous plans of the past 25 years? This time around, he must make sure that when he allocates a plan to a minister, that minister must be performance managed in key performance areas, he must track implementation so that we don’t keep on telling our people that we are still planning.”
De Lille said that she was happy about Ramaphosa’s early childhood development (ECD) initiatives and said these would make a big difference in the country’s investment in education.
During his second SONA, Ramaphosa said that with the country having over 700 000 children accessing early childhood education in the last financial year, government established a firm foundation for a comprehensive ECD programme that would be an integral part of the education system.
He said that in 2019, government would migrate responsibility for ECD centres from the social development ministry to the basic education ministry, and proceed with the process towards two years of compulsory ECD for all children before they enter grade 1.
Said Ramaphosa in his speech: “Another critical priority is to substantially improve reading comprehension in the first years of school. This is essential in equipping children to succeed in education, in work and in life – and it is possibly the single most important factor in overcoming poverty, unemployment and inequality.”
“The department’s early grade reading studies have demonstrated the impact that a dedicated package of reading resources, expert reading coaches and lesson plans can have on reading outcomes. We will be substantially expanding the availability of these early reading resources across the foundation phase of schooling. Over the next six years, we will provide every school child in South Africa with digital workbooks and textbooks on a tablet device.”
African News Agency/ANA