John Taolo Gaetsewe District, October 2023

As part of its unwavering commitment to improving education and building a strong foundation for young children, Kathu Solar Park is proud to announce the commencement of a comprehensive Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre staff training programme. This programme forms part of a mandate to provide training and mentorship in order that children in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District can benefit from an improved standard of early learning opportunities.

Launched in June of this year, the overarching ECD programme that this staff training forms part of, seeks to create a lasting impact on the quality of early education in communities across the district, including Kathu, Olifantshoek, Kuruman and Deben benefiting both current and future generations.

Feedback from participants has been positive, with Juliana Bock, Principal at Mother Goose Playhouse in Siyathemba, Kathu, highlighting the positive impact on her staff’s teaching methods and relationships, saying, “This training holds great significance for me and my staff. We’ve witnessed a remarkable change in our teaching methods. We’ve become more flexible and engaging with the young ones, and our team dynamics are steadily improving towards our desired goals. We genuinely value the training – it has rekindled our passion for our work.”

The five-day professional development training, which occurred from August 28 to September 1, marked the beginning of this transformative initiative. The inaugural cohort comprises 42 dedicated staff members across 13 of the 25 supported ECD centres.

With a three-year timeline, this training programme is one of  Kathu Solar Park’s flagship interventions with the primary objective of enhancing compliance with the Department of Education and improving the quality of services provided to the hundreds of children in the local communities.

“Early Childhood Development is recognized as the cornerstone of school readiness for young children, and in order to achieve this, these centres that care for children as young as three months. Therefore practitioners need to have the suitable training, skills and support to be able to foster learning and development for the children in their care,” explained Cheryl Persensie Economic Development Manager for Kathu Solar Park.

In partnership with Africa A+ Schools, this training adopts a ‘whole school’ approach, encompassing not only ECD practitioners but also other vital staff members like cooks and cleaners.

This inclusive strategy ensures that every team member is aligned, resulting in a coordinated and effective implementation. The primary goals of this training include orientating ECD centres, fostering relationships among the staff, and planning for the year ahead.

This training programme is designed to empower teachers, whether new or experienced, to provide high-quality ECD regardless of their existing qualifications. It aims to inspire and revitalize educators, fostering a deep commitment to offering the best possible education to young learners.

In closing, a participating ECD Practitioner shared her thoughts on the training: “Being part of this training is something everyone would wish for. It was engaging, brimming with ideas, and incredibly enjoyable. It has brought significant value to us, enabling us to create numerous captivating ideas that help children understand and enjoy their work. The training has reduced the stress of material costs as we’ve realized we have everything we need right here. We are truly thankful for the opportunities this training has given us.” – Pelenomi Petrus, Thusanang Pre-School, Thamoyanche Village, Kuruman.

Note: Key Highlights of the Training Program:

  • In-Person Learning: This intensive training spans five days, immersing participants in a hands-on environment that emphasizes practical skill development.
  • No Assessments: The training is designed to cultivate skills and understanding, not to conduct formal assessments or seek accreditation. This allows our educators to focus on the core aspects of quality ECD without the constraints of tests.
  • Year-Long Support for Cohort 1: The first cohort of educators will continue to receive training and support until the culmination of Year 1, which concludes in July 2024. This extended support ensures that the knowledge and skills acquired during the training translate into effective classroom practices.
  • Second Cohort Commencing August 2024:  The second cohort commences on August 1, 2024.




Kathu Solar Park, through its leading Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology, commenced operations on 30 January 2019, to deliver renewable energy to South Africa’s national grid.

Located in the Northern Cape Province, it is one of a few projects of its type in the country, and forms part of the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) Programme, delivering jobs, socio-economic benefits and clean power.

The shareholders consist of Engie; the Government Employees Pension Fund (PIC); SIOC Community Development Trust; Revego; ; Lereko Metier

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