Hard work recognised

2016-02-17 06:00
DURING the award ceremony, Keolebile Mocumi (left) of the Leseding Pre-School in Kuruman emerged as the best Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioner and Katrina Visagie of the Simba-Kleuterliefies from Olifantshoek scooped the best ECD centre award. Photo: Supplied

DURING the award ceremony, Keolebile Mocumi (left) of the Leseding Pre-School in Kuruman emerged as the best Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioner and Katrina Visagie of the Simba-Kleuterliefies from Olifantshoek scooped the best ECD centre award. Photo: Supplied

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THE Northern Cape recently recognised its best Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre and best ECD practitioner as part of the South African ECD awards ceremony.

This event, hosted at the Flamingo Casino on Friday (12/02), saw Keolebile Mocumi of the Leseding Pre-School in Kuruman emerge as the best ECD practitioner, and Katrina Visagie, representing the Simba-Kleuterliefies from Olifants­hoek, scoop the best ECD centre award.

Both the winners and runners-up received cash prizes and the winners became finalists to represent the province in the national awards, to be hosted in Johannesburg later in April.

More categories will be awarded at the national ECD ceremony, such as the best ECD publication, the best ECD trainer, the best ECD training and intervention and the best ECD programme supporting babies and young children with disabilities.

The ceremony is part of the National Development Agency (NDA), an agency of the National Department of Social Development, which is committed to the development and advancement of the ECD sector in South Africa.

Lesego Ranchu of the NDA explained that the ECD awards were a tool used by the NDA to support the development of the ECD sector by recognising excellence, innovation, best practice, dedication and participation throughout South Africa.

She further stated that there was overwhelming scientific evidence that confirmed the importance of the early years for human development.

Ranchu also emphasised the need to invest resources to support and promote optimal child development from conception.

“Lack of opportunities and interventions, or poor-quality interventions, during early childhood can significantly disadvantage young children and diminish their potential for success,” Ranchu said.

By recognising and awarding the contributions being made in the ECD sector despite the vast challenges, the NDA brings awareness of the importance of the ECD sector, and also encourages the sector to ensure that children receive quality ECD education.

According to the NDA, it is confident that the awards will contribute to the improvement of the state of ECD in the province.

The awards, which also respond to the call by government to make ECD a public good, play a critical role in accelerating the implementation of a comprehensive ECD programme that will give children throughout the country hope to lead successful lives.

Runners-up for the best ECD centres are the Natrossie-Kleuterskool in Kakamas and Mpelega Pre-Primary School in Kathu.

The runners-up in the best ECD practitioner category were Boipelo Leier of the Mmabana Early Learning Centre and Patricia Segami of the Magobe Pre-School, both from Kuruman.

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