In her latest policy brief, my friend and colleague Dr Gabi Wills discusses the overprioritisation of matric/high-schools and the underprioritisation of Foundation Phase (Gr1-3) and primary schools. The full policy brief is here. She finds that high school principals are significantly more likely to have been visited by a dsitrict official than a primary school principal, leading to lower monitoring and support at this critical phase. The need to prioritise the Foundation Phase and reading specifically was the main conclusion from two major research projects that we have just finished (see here). Until we realise that we will win or lose the battle of improved educational outcomes for the poor in the primary school, and specifically in Grades 1-3, then we are doomed to go around this mountain one more time!
I include some excerpts from the policy brief below: