Graduate, 62, never gave up
ERIC Atmore, 62, who was perceived a failure during his schooling career, will ascend the Stellenbosch University stage to receive his PhD today.
Atmore made history by providing a first-of-its-kind thesis in South Africa, focusing on Early Childhood Development (ECD) policy over the past 25 years.
His groundbreaking documentary provides an in-depth analysis and interpretation of South Africa’s ECD policy trajectory, from 1990 to 2015.
This study produces evidence-based insights and lessons in relation to ECD policy-making, political support required and policy implementation.
He said failure was just a word and people needed to know they were never too old to learn.
“Our former president Nelson Mandela taught us that. As part of his lifestyle he read many newspapers. Learning is an ongoing activity that never ends. Age doesn’t matter, and never be afraid to repeat something until you get it right.
“I failed Grade 6, my matric and I
was encouraged to drop out of university at the end of my first year because I failed again.
“This demotivated me a lot, but a friend inspired me to carry on with my studies, and now this is my fifth degree,” Atmore, who is also a professor, said.
He is also the director of the Centre for Early Childhood Development, an NGO celebrating 25 years of phenomenal work training teachers across the country, providing educational infrastructure, equipment and assisting predominantly women to run their own centres efficiently.
“Graduating is exciting, but what’s important is that it gives us a chance to reflect on early childhood development in South Africa, Atmore said.
“The purpose of having written this thesis is to motivate for greater services to younger children.
“Young children who attend a quality early learning programme tend to perform better at school and are less likely to need remedial education.
“The social and economic benefits are huge,” Atmore said.