Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi intends to prioritise Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD) in his second term, by moving them from the department of social development to education.
"The first priority of this political term is ECDs, which will migrate from the department of social development and come to the department of education.
"All our primary schools must prepare to have Grade R and Grade RR," he said.
Lesufi was outlining his plans for education in the province at a consultative meeting, which sought to share the priorities of his new term and to also solicit inputs on the "Education Roadmap 2019-2024".
This was held at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg on Friday.
Lesufi said ECDs laid the foundation for education in the province.
"If we cannot get ECDs right, we will not get education right," he said.
This "massive investment" would be achieved with infrastructure, as well as the recruitment of qualified practitioners, according to the MEC.
"The first implication is: 'Where are we going to put these children in our overcrowded schools?'
"The second is the recruitment of the best teachers. Gone are the days where learners eat, sing and sleep. We want to teach them early," he added.
Lesufi said he hoped that this would contribute to building the kind of education in the province of which everyone could be proud.
"We are building a very strong foundation that will allow the education of Gauteng to prosper, as well as allow the education of our children to be one that we will be proud of," he said.
Among those in attendance were learners, teachers, principals and members of school governing bodies.