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South African Journal of Childhood Education

On-line version ISSN 2223-7674

Abstract

JANSE VAN RENSBURG, Ona. The school readiness performance of a group of Grade R learners in primary schools in the Gauteng Province of South Africa. SAJCE [online]. 2015, vol.5, n.1, pp. 01-23. ISSN 2223-7674.

Grade R is the year before learners in South Africa start formal schooling and has been part of the General Education Training Band (GET) since 1998. New efforts are being made to enable all five- to six-year-olds to attend a Grade R class. The nine provinces of South Africa approach this problem in different ways. Some of them, like Gauteng, try to establish Grade R classes at primary schools, but in the process seem to appoint many teachers with only minimum qualifications. This article reports on research requested by the Gauteng Department of Education about the school readiness of Grade R learners. The school readiness performance of 114 Grade R learners was measured by means of a standardized school readiness test. The results confirmed the worst fears of department officials: most of the participants were not school ready after attending a year in a Grade R class. The article concludes with some recommendations, among others that attention should be given to the qualifications of teachers and that parents should become more involved.

Keywords : school readiness; school readiness test; school readiness performance; Grade R; kindergarten.

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