Africa A+ undertook their sixth 2022 field trip to Kouga from 7th – 17th September. The focus of the field trip was to introduce the 13 Cohort 3 ECD centres, who were entering the Kouga Windfarm Trust ECD project for the first time, to the A+ approach. Africa A+ is now working with 38 ECD centres in the Kouga area. The Field trip 6 activities are outlined below:
A baseline survey for each Cohort 3 ECD centre (8 – 9th September 2022)
A+ first completed a Teaching and Learning Survey at each Cohort 3 ECD centre. These surveys serve as a baseline against which pedagogical progress is measured over the next three years
This meeting is an attempt by A+ to work with the ECD principals in managing the loss of pedagogical skills caused by high staff turnover. A+ has observed over the two years a steady stream of teachers leaving the poorer ECD centres to find better paying work elsewhere. Their replacements are young untrained practitioners which puts the school back to entry level in terms of providing a quality early learning programme. The attendees responded positively to the idea of A+ training principals on how to facilitate staff development to ensure a quality learning programme.
Kouga Facilitators’ Training Session (10th September 2022)
A+ is training a team of nine local faciliators to support the Kouga ECD centres after the project has ended.
Cohort 3 Summer Institute (12 – 16th September 2022)
The five day Summer Institute for the 13 Cohort 3 ECD centres went smoothly. Each day involved the participants in experiential learning, the creative arts, personal development, teamwork, planning, the 0-4 years National Curriculum Framework, and reflection.
The highlights of the Summer Institute were:
- The participants’ enthusiasm, active engagement, enjoyment, and growing confidence.
- Building an ECD community, the tasty food, and the facilitators’ co-facilitation. Comments from the participants:
- ‘Daar is niks verveeling aan die gang in hierdie plek!” [There is nothing boring going on in this place!] (Nicoline).
- ‘I have been teaching for 25 years. DSD [Department of Social Development] did many, many trainings but then I met A+. Wow! This is it!” (Elysteen)
- Seven Kouga principals and teachers graduated with a Level 4 ECD certificate. This is the result of a collaboration between ITEC and Africa A+ Schools.
- Although changing mindsets takes time, some ECD centres are already shifting their thinking about early education: