30 October 2023.

A graduation event in Ulco, outside of Kimberley, was recently held in honour of the one of the largest cohorts of the Northern Cape Province and the Free State Province’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners, heralding efforts to improve education in this region. Graduates where honoured by key stakeholders from the Department of Education, Sol Plaatje University, the Northern Cape Premier’s Office, educationists as well as bursary funders, that enabled over 100 practitioners to study these last two years.

Sisimogang Setlhabi (29) who has already been working in ECD for eight years, is one of the graduates to have proudly received her certificate. In her interview, she speaks of teaching as her passion and that hard work is her answer to success.

“Teaching is my passion and I love working hard, because it is the key ingredient of my success and my ability to try something and not to be afraid of failure, or to get knocked down, but to get back up and try harder in life. I have a genuine sense of pride to achieve my goals and dreams. My training meant a lot to me, having learnt a great deal. I have also had the opportunity to apply both knowledge and new skills in my class every day,” said Sisomogang Setlhabi, ECD practitioner at Mickey’s Day Care, Riverton, having achieved a Further Education and Training Certificate: Early Childhood Development, NQF level 4.

Sisimongang, is one of the graduates funded by Droogfontein Solar Power, as part of its socio economic development programme, which has a strong focus on education within the communities of Kimberley, Riverton, Ritchie, and Barkly West.

Two cohorts of ECD practitioners graduated with Early Childhood Development qualifications, comprising 66 students awarded their Further Education and Training Certificate: Early Childhood Development, NQF level 4; and 39 their Higher Certificate: Early Childhood Development, NQF Level 5, totalling 105.

Funding from De Aar Solar Power, Droogfontein Solar Power, and Boshof Solar Power allowed the Northern Cape Department of Education to increase the number of ECD Practitioners that could access bursaries and add to the general upliftment of education in this region of the country.