Proud students receive certificates

2016-03-09 06:00


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DEMI-MAE COLE (20) walked down the stage with her head held high after receiving her level 4 qualification certificate in Early Childhood Development (ECD).

She is the youngest of the 25 students who were awarded their certificates and sees it as another step closer to reaching her dream of a degree in child psychology.

The certificates were handed over by Palesa Thulo, district official of the Department of Education, at the Savoy Hotel.

It is all because of Cole’s passion for children that she ended up as a gr. R teacher at the West End Primary School doing practical learning.

Cole became emotional and seemed to be in a different world when she shared her experience of working with the children she teaches five days a week.

“That is exactly why I want to pursue my dream of studying for a BEd degree and then one in child psychology, because I love children, naturally.

“People continue to tell me that my choice of becoming a teacher is a perfect one,” said the young teacher.

“I will not change the experience for anything in the world. It makes me feel good to know that these children came to me clueless and have learned so much when we part ways after the graduation ceremony.

“My first class was in 2015 and I cried so much on the day of the graduation ceremony when I realised that I will not be with them the following year.

“But the next year, I got brand new faces in my classroom and I also bonded with them. You know, the beautiful part of working with children is that you come to school sad, and those children brighten your day,” added Cole in support of her statement that she will stay in the teaching field.

Cole and the others were given a study opportunity by the Education, Training and Development Practices, Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP Seta), who signed a memorandum of understanding with the Northern Cape Urban Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College for the college to run the early childhood development programme for 2014.

The ETDP Seta funded the TVET College for the programme that commenced in February 2014 and the students were also given a stipend of R2 000 each month.

Amongst the students was also Jane Loff (51), who was a housewife and learned a great deal of skills from the programme.

She is now an early childhood development teacher at the Venus Primary School.

Loff said she had been a housewife for ten years.

“I was encouraged by my husband to do something with my passion for children and I am grateful that I saw the opportunity at ETDP Seta,” she said proudly.

“With God’s help, I will study further to get my diploma, then continue within the child development field.”

Dimakatso Sivela from the college explained that this national qualifications framework (NQF) ECD level 4, with 140 credits, is a 12-month programme.

In one month, the learner spends three weeks doing practical teaching at a crèche, day care centre or school, and one week doing theory. They are expected to work with kids from 0-4 years old.

“They are the first graduates of this course, as we are still looking for funding to increase the levels. For now, they have to upgrade on their own.

“They can continue to use this skill to get employment and work with children of those ages,” added Sivela.

Sivela explained that the students completed all their portfolios of evidence and underwent assessment processes after they submitted all the files.

“Moderation took place after assessments and the college requested external moderation from ETDP Seta for the final verification. All learners were found competent for the ECD level 4 qualification.”

Rama Kitchens, the ETDP Seta regional co-ordinator for programmes, said the programme was a success and that it dealt with one of the co-priorities of government, which is child development.

“The programme is another way of addressing skills, as it reached the most under-skilled people. We now have 25 more appropriately skilled practitioners.

“This way we also seek to address some of the social skills in our society, including child management and financial management,” added Kitchens.

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