Waterloo early childhood programme empowers teachers

2017-12-28 06:00
Photo: SUPPLIEDAt the graduation ceremony of the early childhood teachers and creche owners are Nomandla Mbhele (left), Bongiwe Hadebe, Slindile Shangase, Sizakele Mngadi, Judge  Vuka Tshabalala (middle), Kudzai Mqingwana, Angel Nhlangulela and Shaun Tait.

Photo: SUPPLIEDAt the graduation ceremony of the early childhood teachers and creche owners are Nomandla Mbhele (left), Bongiwe Hadebe, Slindile Shangase, Sizakele Mngadi, Judge Vuka Tshabalala (middle), Kudzai Mqingwana, Angel Nhlangulela and Shaun Tait.

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THE early childhood teachers in Waterloo are now better equipped to get the young children in their care ready for school.
A programme funded by the Sibaya Community Trust, working closely with the Domino Foundation and several other partners to upgrade early educator skills, has come full circle with the graduation of 68 teachers and 12 creche owners. A ceremony was held at the Waterloo Community Hall on December 6.

The Sibaya Community Trust has brought to the table, thus far, an amount of R650 000. A trustee of the Sibaya Community Trust Judge Vuka Tshabalala said: “The Sibaya Community Trust has made a commitment to developing young children with the belief that by developing a child we are developing a nation.
“By up-skilling early childhood educators so that they are better equipped to prepare the children in their care for school, there can be meaningful intervention in their early stages of development. This will help to address the concerning fact that 80% of children in lower primary are still not reading.”

This ECD (Early Childhood Development) programme assists ECD centres in underprivileged areas to become sustainable by empowering the owners with business management skills as well as training to upgrade their teaching skills, enabling them to impart critical early childhood development into their programmes.

The function was the culmination of 18 months of training for the programme participants and through the support of this trust and specialist partners, along with the Department of Social Development, two of the 12 creches were registered as ECD centres.

The women who work in crèches in disadvantaged communities do so as volunteers, often in adverse conditions with little resources, yet they are valiantly dedicated to providing a firm, school readiness foundation for their little pupils, said Tshabalala.

“We are delighted to see this programme, aimed to make their work easier, deliver meaningful results in the form of 68 educators who feel empowered to support the development of the young children in their care, as well as run their crèches more efficiently,” Tshabalala said.

The values and lessons instilled as part of the Waterloo ECD programme included education and awareness on violence, tolerance, respect and freedom.

The graduation ceremony fittingly coincided with the 16 Days of Activism against the abuse of women and children, from November 25 to December 10, which focuses on generating an increased awareness on the negative impact that violence and abuse has on women and children and the social fabric of our society.

Other partners of this project are the Unlimited Child, assisting with cognitive development training and the Gandhi Development Trust, equipping ECD staff and children with critical values as a guide for classroom practice.

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