Graduates to boost ECD education

Practitioners from different ECD centres graduated at Sikhula Sonke in Khayelitsha.

The quality of teaching in Grade R classes, in some areas of Khayelitsha, is set to improve with the graduation of 30 carers and teachers on Friday December 1.

The graduates completed their Basic Service Skills and Parenting programmes at Sikhula Sonke Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre, in Khayelitsha.

The graduates, all between the ages of 25 and 40, promised to uphold the rights of children and prioritise their development.

They received applause from the packed hall at Sikhula Sonke.

Thembakazi Nxesi, programme manager at Sikhula Sonke, said the NGO had a role to play in addressing the high levels of poverty and unemployment among the youth in the province.

She said they are creating opportunities for teachers to get training and embark on dignified career paths that also serve their respective communities.

She said teachers and carers had to be trained on how to develop children.

She encouraged others in the field to get training and stop taking things for granted.

“It helps most people for their career pathways. Today we have people who started with the carers and are now social workers and some are teachers at schools. It is important to keep empowering yourself because things do not stay the same.

“So we always encourage and urge carers and to get training all the time so to refresh their minds in the changing world,” she said.

The ECDs members sang and danced after getting their certificates.

Ms Nxesi said care must be taken when working with children.

“We need skills to develop children and empower that child mentally. You might do permanent damage to a child’s mind. We do not encourage a naughty corner to punish children. One needs skills to deal with children. I guess that is why these practitioners are so happy. They are happy because they have acquired skills,” she said.

Speaking on behalf of all the graduates, carer Thandiwe Shweni of Nonkosinathi Educare Care who graduated from the Basic Service Skills and Parenting programmes, gave praise to the course and Sikhula Sonke for the opportunity.

She said most practitioners are getting skills through the organisation.

“I am over excited. I have never graduated before so this is my first graduation as a person. I had to do these courses to be more empowered. Another point is that, the children that I teach must learn from me. I must be the example to them. I have 30 children that I need to play a role to. We build the future for them. They are our future so we need to play a good role in developing their minds to be better people,” she said.

She said they were grateful to Sikhula Sonke for the amazing and rare opportunity to become qualified community development practitioners.

She said through them, children will now become better citizens.

She promised to work hard to develop the children at her area.