The importance of Early Childhood Development (ECD) and the role that it plays in breaking the cycle of poverty and inequality, is undeniable. It is proven to be the key driver in impacting on a country’s future economic growth and improvement for the citizens. This is the opinion shared by President Ramaphosa, who addressed the issue during his Nation Address, stating that, education should start in early childhood.
Recognising this need and the significance of properly qualified and competent practitioners to teach young children, REISA launched its flagship ECD programme in 2016 and are now honouring these graduates at a ceremony attended by local stakeholders and partners, Practitioners and the Northern Cape Premier.
“We are extremely proud of these fifty-seven practitioners who have invested so much of their time and efforts over the last 18 months. Their commitment to this programme is applauded. With a pass rate of 100%, this is most certainly something worth celebrating,” said Veronique Isaacs, Regional Community Operations Manager for REISA.
Even more significantly, a recent study has highlighted the impact on improved quality of teaching and learning across the twelve ECD Centres within the Gamagara Municipality, which participated in the training programme. Both NQF Level 4 (Further Education and Training Certificate) and NQF Level 5 (Higher Education and Training Certificate in ECD) qualifications were embarked on over the last 18 months.
“The study has shown a steady increase in learners meeting educational and cognitive levels, as expected at their age group, growing exponentially since 2016, to now demonstrating an 85% achievement,” added Isaacs.
Ten level 5 practitioners are now qualified, making them eligible to apply for Department of Basic Education vacant Grade R posts. The gradual completion of these 2 qualifications allow for the professionalisation of the ECD sector and creates a career path for practitioners.
Boipelo Majeng, a graduate ECD Practitioner from Mpelega ECD Centre, is one of the many practitioners who has been able to see the benefits of her training and is now working towards a Diploma in ECD. “Before enrolling for the ECD N4 Training, I worked as an aftercare assistant. The training has taught me the importance of preparation and how a well drafted daily programme helps in boosting a child’s development and education. I have also learned an important skill – developing learning resources using recyclable material. I can now develop any resource that I need for a lesson or activity.”
An assessment of this programme in October 2017, showed that 100% of practitioners reported: an increase in their confidence levels in teaching the children and communicating with parents; a greater understanding of how to manage children in and outside of the classroom. 71% of Principals reported observing an improvement in the functional and technical capability and capacity of practitioners.
“I have seen a huge improvement in Boipelo and am very proud of her progress and it will also be great if Boipelo and her class could be given an opportunity to complete N5,” commented Sherley Kailane, ECD Senior Practitioner at Mpelega ECD Centre.
HOW OUR LEADERS SUPPORT ECD:
2nd Floor, Fernwood House, The Oval, 1 Oakdale Road,
Newlands, Cape Town, 7700
REISA Local Community Office:
Dynlog Management Development Building,
Block B, Ground Floor,
Office 1, Kameeldoring Business Zone,
Kathu, Northern Cape, 8446