GRADUATION BLISS FOR ECD PRACTITIONERS DESPITE CHALLENGES
Thembisa Ndlela is one of 14 Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners that successfully graduated with a NQF certification and has started this year feeling more confident in the classroom.
“Studying for the NQF Level 4 was a great journey. Although difficult at times, it has helped me to grow my knowledge and understanding of childhood development. With the facilitators’ guidance, support and encouragement, I developed into a confident and capable practitioner,” said Thembisa Ndlela, Practitioner at Mzamomhle ECD Centre, Cookhouse.
This cohort attended training as funded by Cookhouse Wind Farm, as part of its education flagship programme. By providing practitioners with an opportunity to earn a formal qualification, the programme aims to address the challenges relating to quality education.
Moreover, practitioners were given mentorship support, which helped bridge the gap between study models and classroom assimilation. This was especially helpful due to the CV-19 pandemic, as participants were trained through online webinars and digital chat platforms.
“The facilitators were very supportive from the start and throughout the entire training. During the pandemic we weren’t able to attend classes, but that didn’t stop us from doing our modules,” said Alice Swartz, Practitioner at Busy Bee Pre Primary, Somerset East.
She added, “At the beginning it was challenging because it was something new, but with help from the facilitators, I managed to complete my modules and submit all my work on time.
Elmar Potgieter, Principal at Klein Begin Dagsorg, in Somerset East, was also one of the programme’s beneficiaries. She has the added challenge of studying in English, although Afrikaans is her mother tongue. “I was nervous and thought it would be very difficult seeing that I am Afrikaans, plus, like many others, I needed to balance my work and studies. Hence, I am very proud to have completed the qualification. The training taught me so much – in addition to helping me see things in a new light.”
The programme has already benefited over 100 practitioners since it launched in April 2020. In addition to the training, graduates receive ongoing mentoring and coaching through the Curriculum Intervention which ensures that the skills learned during the training are applied in the classroom.