Gov better off spending on early childhood, rather than free tertiary fees - CEO

The government ought to be investing more in early childhood development instead of fee-free higher education, according to the CEO of the DG Murray Trust (DMT), Dr David Harrison.

Government has allocated R57 billion to fund free fees for first-year tertiary students from low household incomes.

The money will be allocated for the next three years and is the largest reallocation of resources towards government’s spending priorities.

Fee-free higher education was announced by former President Jacob Zuma last year.

Read: DG Murray Trust fighting inequality and youth jobs challenge

Harrison says the R57 billion may be wasted on many tertiary students who drop out in their first year and says fee-free tertiary education will not address the root of many learning challenges.

He believes that government should adopt a bottom up approach and invest in early childhood education to improve the throughput rate at universities.

It really doesn't help pouring water into a leaking bucket.

Dr David Harrison, CEO of the DG Murray Trust

We know from university pass-rate statistics, that we're going to waste at least half of that R57 billion because at least half of the students will drop out before tertiary education before they complete.

Dr David Harrison, CEO of the DG Murray Trust

These young people need to be prepared for university.

Dr David Harrison, CEO of the DG Murray Trust

Only a quarter of our children experience any quality early learning. It's not surprising, therefore, that only a quarter of our children get to university.

Dr David Harrison, CEO of the DG Murray Trust

If we don't invest our money properly, there's no way that we are going to improve throughput at universities.

Dr David Harrison, CEO of the DG Murray Trust

Take a listen to his perspective:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Gov better off spending on early childhood, rather than free tertiary fees - CEO


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