A stream of 24 new students are taking part in Early Inspiration Training (EITP), a teacher training programme designed for current or prospective practitioners in underprivileged areas who deal directly with children aged between birth and six years.
Early childhood education in the Eastern Cape has been targeted as a priority sector. There are 4.4 million babies and young children in South Africa and according to the Education White Paper 5 on Early Childhood Development (2001:2), 40% of young children in South Africa are exposed to harsh living conditions, neglect and a lack of stimulation.
As a result when children enter formal schooling in grade one, the foundational concepts of learning are not developed, causing children to drop out of school and in many cases repeat grades. Which is why trained teachers within this sector are so important, and something Early Inspiration aims to improve.
SMSPortal has partnered with Early Inspiration in attempting to combat weak early childhood development in Walmer Township. There are 48 early child development centres in Walmer township, with 109 teachers. SMSPortal funded 12 practitioners in 2012 and has recently supported an additional 24. The training is also in collaboration with KICK, a local NPO, which is looking to build 14 early child development centres in Walmer township.
Lauren Stretch, from Early Inspiration adds: “Not only do we create an awareness of what to, but develop an understanding of how children learn. Those enrolled need to be working in early childhood centres, and upon completion are recognised as a top practitioner in their community, proving outstanding results in child development, ensuring school readiness.”
This highly interactive programme, which costs R7,300, is run over eight months, and requires up to three days in the classroom enabling an understanding of child development as well as acquiring the new skills.
Mentoring is also an important element of the programme, and ensures guidance and support for: enhancing development, assessment, community involvement, writing, reading and understanding texts, as well as interacting with young children.
Call 084 554 9688 or email email@example.com to find our more and support early years carers and teachers.
Author: Kimberley Nanson