29 September 2010
South Africa’s Department of Basic Education has received R1.7-billion from the European Union to help improve primary education in the country over the next three years.
This was announced on Tuesday ahead of the 3rd South Africa/European Union (SA/EU) Summit taking place in Brussels, Belgium, with President Jacob Zuma in attendance.
The funds are part of the ongoing financial cooperation between South Africa and the European Commission.
According to the Presidency, the handing over of the funds, and subsequent signing of the Primary Education Sector Policy Support Programme (ESP-SP) agreement, makes this the single largest ever development cooperation programme between the European Commission and the South African government.
The overall objective of the ESP-SP is to improve learner performance in literacy and numeracy at primary school level, in order to achieve better output to secondary and higher education and vocational training.
Early childhood development
According to the Presidency, the R1.7-billion will be used for expanding access to quality early childhood development opportunities in poor communities, as well as improving numeracy and literacy at primary school level.
It will also be used to attract appropriately qualified and competent teachers in all learning areas at all levels.
The agreement was signed by South African Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and EU Commissioner for Education and Culture Androulla Vassiliou.
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