Basic Education minister, Angie Motshekga presented her annual performance plan in Parliament on Tuesday where she confirmed that focus will be placed on Early Childhood Development (ECD) in South Africa.
The two years of ECD will be compulsory for all children between the ages of four and five before they enter Grade 1.
Motshekga said that the education department will focus on ensuring that all material is digitised for learning on a tablet.
South African schools are dived into five quintiles. Quintile 1 is the poorest and Quintile 5 the least poor.
Selected schools will begin receiving tablets in 2020 according to their quintile.
The three phase plan will see phase 1 rolled out between 2020 – 2021 and targeting multi-grade, multiphase, farm and selected rural schools, however special needs schools will be accommodated in all phases according to their disability.
During his SONA speech, president Cyril Ramaphosa said that government is deploying experienced coaches who will train all teachers teach reading in English and the African languages.
In an attempt to strengthen the basic education system, an Early Grade Reading Programme is being implemented which will consist of lesson plans, additional reading materials and support for teachers.
Ramaphosa also said technology-focused subjects will be added to the curriculum in order to prepare school leavers for employment. These include subjects such as coding and data analytics at primary school level.
The Department of Basic Education began training 43,774 teachers in April 2019 on computer skills and training in coding is being done between June and September 2019.
A thousand schools across five provinces will begin learning coding in 2020.
Grade R-9 will also be introduced to robotics, from building and operating to programming.