ECD PRACTITIONERS FORGING AHEAD WITH QUALIFICATIONS DESPITE COVID
Fifteen Early Childhood Development (ECD) Practitioners from rural Eastern Cape, are forging ahead with their ECD Level 4 Training Programme, with the help of innovation, so that they can successfully graduate. This is despite reports that many childhood development centres are struggling during this time and are threatened with closure as most practitioners are not receiving income during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The online community-based training kicked-off, without delay, in April, with this group of determined practitioners having already completed the first three modules training, despite difficulties.
“The effect on our studies has not been good because we are not in class, however, I have enjoyed attending training because we have been able to interact and communicate with my peers and facilitator,” said Heinrisha Nysschens, Busy Bee Pre Primary School, in Somerset East.
This cohort of practitioners from Adelaide, Cookhouse and Somerset East are receiving training as part of Cookhouse Wind Farm’s flagship project. The programme enables Practitioners to achieve a formal qualification and address the challenge of poor performing ECD Centres due to ineffective governance structures and management systems. Furthermore, Practitioners are supported by a dedicated mentor to bridge the gap between study models and classroom assimilation.
“We are pleased that these practitioners can continue studying, receive the consistent and ongoing support that they need, despite the pandemic,” said Nomzamo Landingwe, Chief Community Operations Officer for Cookhouse Wind Farm.
To achieve this, the training incorporates a blended approach, in which the Practitioners receive data and log into the training sessions to engage with videos, whilst working together through digital chat platforms and online content driven activities. They are also able to communicate with their facilitators, and if required get additional training support telephonically.
One of the unique attributes of Cookhouse Wind Farm’s flagship project, is that Practitioners are supported by a dedicated mentor to bridge the gap between study models and classroom assimilation.
Practitioners who have graduated also receive ongoing mentorship and coaching, ensuring that the knowledge and skills that they have gained from the training is applied in the classroom. Mentors visit participating ECD Centres to observe lessons and ensure that content from study modules are effectively implemented. Assistance on how to improve lessons or manage challenging issues is also provided.