One of the children supported by Ikamva Labantu
Principal and practitioner training programme
Historically, pre-schools in townships are overcrowded, under resourced poorly managed and lack the required stimulation for the children in their care. Ikamva Labantu took up the challenge and in 2012 began a Principals and Practitioners Training Programme which saw both the principals the teachers in township pre-schools receiving training and support.
Now in its second year, the programme evokes enthusiastic responses from our participants who tell of how the training has helped them run and manage their pre-schools better while others have enjoyed formal pre-school teacher training for the first time in twenty years. Currently we are training 64 practitioners and 30 new principals from the community who attend regular training sessions at the Kwakhanya ECD Centre in Khayelitsha. Collectively, these practitioners and principals touch the lives of no less than 4 000 children every year.
The 9 principals who were trained in Year 1 have graduated to Year 2 training and are benefiting from the more in-depth subject matter pertaining to labour law practices, governance and the understanding what a learning programme entails. They are also learning about good leadership, fundraising and financial management and how it relates to running an effective pre-school.
Practitioners’ training covers the areas of the cognitive, physical, emotional and social developmental needs of babies and children. We have found approximately 90% attendance each month and we attribute this to the holistic support we provide the practitioners by way of a stipend for transport, payment for replacement teachers while others are on training and a light lunch for participatant on training days.
We are working closely with the Department of Education and the Department of Social Development and we envisage that our course will be fully registered by the end of this financial year.
Registration Help Desk Programme
Initiated in September 2013, a Coordinator and eight community based workers operate a Help Desk at the Kwakhanya ECD Centre to assist owners of local pre-schools to meet the regulated standards set out by the Department of Social Development to either achieve or maintain their registration and subsidised states. In three months we have assisted 20 pre-schools through this difficult and intricate process.
Language enrichment programme
Poor speech development is commonplace. This is often due to insufficient verbal stimulation. This programme delivers content that stimulates the developing mind’s cognitive and language skills which in turn, promotes communication between the child, the practitioner and the parent. Teachers have also noted that children now communicate more freely in class. Many practitioners and parents have commented that this programme has made a remarkable difference in the way that they relate to their children.
Special Educational Needs (SEN) programme
Cerebral Palsy , Downes Syndrome and learning disabilities are major obstacles for many children who’s conditions often remain undiagnosed for extended periods of time. We have an active database of children who have been identified, referred and successfully managed or who are still within the referral system. This year we have assisted 96 children by accessing the relevant services.
In order to re-enforce and strengthen the relationship between child and parent or care-giver we will present a Parenting Programme which commence in February 2014 Some of the topics to be included are child / parent relationships, the power of effective communication methods, health issues pertaining to young children and the importance of high self esteem. This eight week course will train 15 participants per session and groups will be held at the Harare Library in Khayelitsha.
The Pre-schools Upgrade Project
We are delighted to have been selected by the Department of Social Development to be one of the five NGOs working on the “upgrade project”. From the total of 280 pre-schools in the project, Ikamva Labantu has been allocated 55 sites in Khayelitsha, Mfuleni and Mitchells Plain areas. The Registration Help Desk team has the upgrade project under their wing with the goal to assist the 55 pre-schools to meet the minimum standards for registration as ECD sites by the Department of Social Development. The service delivery encapsulates minor structural upgrades and the training of the Management Committees and Principals in Governance. Once registered, these pre-schools will receive a government subsidy for each child at their school. This injection of additional finance will assist schools to remain financially viable for longer and will aid principals and teachers to pay better wages to their staff, attract more children and provide better services to those in their care.
Training of the teachers