Parents in the Western Cape, whose children are in Grade R, will know next week whether or not their kids are prepared for school next year.
The provincial Education Department is at present performing a pilot study, which is anticipated to assist in improving learners’ literacy and numeracy performance simply by making certain that learners are educated at the correct levels based on their age and emotional maturity.
Talking about the primary reason for the study, Education MEC Donald Grant announced that following the literacy and numeracy test results as well as the repeater rate in Grade 1, the department made a decision to establish a research study to evaluate whether or not five-year-old learners in Grade R were ready for school and in addition identify learning and developmental needs of learners ahead of when they enter into Grade 1.
“Following an analysis of last year’s Grade 3 literacy and numeracy results, it became evident that learners younger than the average age for Grade 3 have a tendency to perform worse than some of their peers. The final results indicate that a number of the younger learners might possibly not have been school ready when they entered Grade 1. They typically started school when they were five years old and turned six during Grade 1,” Grant said.
He pointed out that while parents may enrol their children at five years, the mandatory school-going age is six turning seven in Grade 1 as children developed at different paces, with some coping at the necessary levels for the grade, while others find it difficult to keep up with their peers.
The study is being conducted at 59 community-based pre-schools and 111 public schools by specialists, which include learning support teachers and advisors, curriculum specialists for early childhood development and Foundation Phase advisors.
They offer a holistic assessment of Grade R learners born in 2006 and will interpret the answers to establish whether or not the child has mastered the skills necessary for learning. They will then share the findings with parents and advise them on whether or not their children possess the learning skills needed for Grade 1.
Parents will receive the final results of the assessments by 24 November.
“Once this is completed, the department plans to monitor the progress of the learners who repeat Grade R and those who do not, the levels of parental involvement, what teachers do to address recognized gaps and precisely what the department has undertaken to support these teachers.
“The department will study the impact of these measures on the number of children referred to specialised education support after Grade 3 along with the impact in general on literacy and numeracy results,” Grant explained.