Why it matters
“We have inherited a country with issues – unemployment, poverty, social inequality and injustice. The generation coming through our schooling system is not adequately prepared to deal with these complex issues. We have to nurture the next generations differently and create a new stream of individuals who are more creative, with greater capacity for innovation, critical thinking and problem- solving to become our future leaders and pioneers.”
- Erica Elk | Executive Director of the Cape Craft + Design Institute (CCDI)
Why start early
If we want entrepreneurs, innovators and problem-solvers we need schools that nurture children’s creativity from an early age. As birth to 7 years is the most critical and sensitive period of human development, Africa A+ has started with preschools.
When a child receives a quality preschool education it offers the best return on investment in terms of economic, personal and societal benefits. A research study that began 40 years ago compared two groups of disadvantaged preschool children. One group benefitted from a quality preschool programme while the other did not. The results of 40 years tracking the two groups show that when a child has a quality preschool education it makes a difference throughout their lives.
Figure 1: Major Findings High/Scope Perry Preschool Study at 40
Who we are | Africa A+ Team
The Africa A+ team are experienced and qualified arts and early education facilitators trained and mentored by Oklahoma A+ Schools.
The arts and early education facilitators work together in pairs. The arts facilitator creates an awareness of what the arts have to offer. The early childhood facilitator helps educators to understand the value of experiential learning, and how they can use the arts as a tool to nurture children’s creativity and realise the aims and outcomes of the national school curriculum.
Africa A+ Project Director
Anya Morris is the Africa A+ project director at CCDI. Anya is a Barkly House graduate and early education specialist. Anya has a Masters in Education along with a long history in early education. Nurturing creativity and an entrepreneurial mindset in young children is her dream job.
Vuyiswa is an Early Childhood Education specialist who studied for her ECD LEVEL 5 at False Bay College. Vuyiswa is a motivational speaker who believes in building people up. Vuyiswa is an inspiration to learners from Philippi schools who are struggling and are about to give up on their education.
Shanaaz Abrahams graduated from Sallie Davies College of Education and has been in the Pre –Primary Education field for almost thirty years. She is currently an educator at Cedar House Prep School. Shanaaz believes that all children learn through play.
Kauthar Ebrahim is an early education specialist who owns her own school. Kauthar has spent many years nurturing good practise in early childhood practitioners and students. Kauthar is a part-time facilitator at Inclusive Education.
Veronica Nicholas is an early education specialist who graduated from Barkly House. Veronica is the principal of iThemba School in Capricorn where each day calls on her problem-solving and innovation skills
Miriam Schiff has worked in the ECD field for nearly 50 years and retired after being principal of King David Pre-primary School. Miriam remains involved in early childhood music through the Orff Schulwerk Society. Miriam has recently moved to Cape Town and is delighted to be part of the Africa A+ team.
Richard Kilpert is an arts educator who cut his teeth in the Eastern Cape running community projects. Since then he has lectured in printmaking, run the Imagination Lab and worked with the World Design Capital's education programme. He is currently training primary school facilitators for the CCDI.
Sue Kaplan is a practising artist with a Master’s degree in Fine Art from the Witswatersrand University. Sue is currently doing a curating degree at MIchaelis, the University of Cape Town, and teaches art to adults and art as therapy in marginalized communities.
Karen is a Masters graduate and an experienced creative process facilitator. Karen owns The Ah HA Company which accesses people's creativity in order to promote their company’s growth. Karen is passionate about the visual arts.
Shumi’s the communications officer at the CCDI. She takes a keen interest in creative writing and expression. Shumi is also a Biodanza didactic teacher who uses music and movement to help people to joyfully dance with life.
Africa A+ Member Schools
Meet the current schools in our network.
iThemba Pre-primary, Capricorn
ABC Pre-primary, Lansdowne
Chameleon Campus, Sybrand Park
Fish Hoek Pre-Primary, Fish Hoek
Rainbow Pre-School, Fish Hoek
Gerard’s Educare, Strandfontein
Why schools join us?
A+ Schools Research Results:
Better attendance for children and teachers
Fewer disciplinary problems in schools
Happier, more effective educators
Joyful, engaged children
More parent, caregiver, and community involvement
Creative, focused instruction
Every year since it was founded in 2002, OKA+ Schools has outperformed their district and state averages on standardised tests.Contact Us
2006 data from the Oklahoma State Department of Education shows that students achieve significantly higher average scores in Maths, Reading and Base Academic Performance Index (API) in A+ Schools in comparison with District Schools.