IMPACTFUL ECD EDUCATION PROGRAMME KICKS OFF IN JOHN TAOLO GAETSEWE DISTRICT
John Taolo Gaetsewe District, July 2023
Working in partnership with the Northern Cape Department of Education, Kathu Solar Park’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme has launched, to effectively increase the accessibility and quality of early learning opportunities for young children across twenty-five centres, as well as enabling access to employment opportunities and financial security for women in communities, within the John Taolo Gaetsewe (JTG) District.
This 3-year programme, which will benefit almost 2 000 young children in this district is being implemented by the Centre for Early Childhood Development, with the overarching goal to provide impactful, sustainable ECD, as informed by a community baseline assessment aimed at addressing the challenges faced by centres within local communities.
Working to help ensure that ECD is in line with standards as laid out by the National Curriculum Framework, the twenty-five ECD centres across the JTG District will benefit from a number of interventions over the period of three years, in which the programme is being implemented. This includes training eight ECD facilitators to become mentors, in order for them be capacitated to support ECD principals and teachers in the district.
“A key aspect of working in communities to improve quality early education is to provide individuals with the skills to sustain the ECD programmes beyond the funding that is provided. ECD projects are only successful if the targeted communities are given agency and skills to continue the work, and for this reason, leaders in the ECD community are enabled to facilitate future training in their immediate areas. These facilitators, which are to be selected from the local principals and teachers of these ECD centres, will be part of a three-year cycle of professional development training so that they can continue to support ECD centres once the programme has come to an end. In turn, they will also be able to train others interested in working in ECD and will have the skills and competence to contextually mentor ECD staff throughout the duration of this project and beyond,” explained Cheryl Persensie Economic Development Manager for Kathu Solar Park.
Launched in June 2023, the first interventions will include the provision of indoor and outdoor education materials to participating centres as well as infrastructure upgrades each year to align centres to the norms and standards, as laid out by the Department.
During the first year the programme will also support ECD centres with registering as partial or full care facilities to facilitate subsidies, in addition to providing training and development to building the capacity of principals.
Other interventions include the training of ECD practitioners and managers of ECD centres in relation to governance and financial management; ECD infrastructure upgrades, which includes new construction or renovations; the provision of indoor and outdoor education materials; and ensuring ECD development and compliance is in line with the laws and regulations.
This funding is part of Kathu Solar Park’s Socio-Economic Development strategy, which has a key focus on education and skills development.
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