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.

TRACEY ADAMS African News Agency (ANA)

CORA Louw cel­e­brated her 101st birth­day at Huis Luck­hoff yes­ter­day. Her cel­e­bra­tions in­cluded a lunch with friends and cake at the re­tire­ment home in Rose­bank. Louw said her se­crets to a long life were pos­i­tive think­ing and faith. See Page 3 |


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