Representatives from the Department of Education together with a group of local Early Childhood Development (ECD) Practitioners, visited Droogfontein Solar Power as part of the solar plant’s community engagement programme and its partnership with the Department of Education.
Mr Basie Mathane, Director: GET Curriculum, Department of Education, Northern Cape stated: “The Northern Cape Department of Education (NCDoE) is encouraged by the role that Droogfontein Solar Power and De Aar Solar Power continue to play in working with the department to provide quality education to the most needy. The influence and impact of this partnership can only lay a strong foundation for improved learner outcomes in the participating schools.”
This collaboration is in line with Minister Motshekga’s wish that: “Together we must strive to lay a solid foundation, where learners will be positively stimulated and nurtured to become responsible citizens. To realise this we need a national alliance of partners across all sectors to promote and advance early childhood development.”
Droogfontein Solar Power has funded a 3-year bursary programme, which is implemented in partnership with the Department of Education (DoE), spending over R580 000 over the last two years on this Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme. The Early Childhood Development Practitioners were identified by the Department of Education and the programme is aimed at improving the quality of education provided to children attending crèches in the Riverton, Ritchie, Barkly West and Kimberley areas. The funding covers the cost of 20 ECD Grade R practitioner’s bursaries to study for a Diploma in Early Childhood Development NQF Level 6, with the North West University.
“We were delighted to welcome the practitioners and representatives from the Department of Education, as their involvement and support is key to our various school and crèche programmes,” said Mpho Makhetha, Plant Manager of Droogfontein Solar Power.
The Droogfontein Solar Power funding has allowed the DoE to increase the number of practitioners that are upgrading their skills from 130 to 180. The DoE is particularly excited as these practitioners are being skilled in accordance with the Minister of Educations hope that by 2019 all Grade R practitioners should meet the NQF Level 6 qualification requirements.
“We believe that education is a shared duty and the responsibility not only of government, but also of civil society and that children should be developed especially during their early years of development,
Mr Basie Mathane, Director: GET Curriculum, Department of Education, Northern Cape said, “Droogfontein Solar Power and De Aar Solar Power recently announced funding of an additional intervention in the literacy programme. They are funding, in partnership with the Department of Education, a programme called SpellIt, which runs Spelling Bee’s in foundation phase classes in 10 of the local primary schools”.
The Reading Coach programme and the ongoing Early Childhood Development bursary programme are part of the Droogfontein’s commitment and support of local education as part of their socio economic development initiatives. Additional support goes towards the funding of Early Childhood Development classroom equipment, training and provision of teaching aids; and an ongoing Foundation Phase Reading Coach Programme.
Participating Early Childhood Development Centres include: Goitlamela ECD; Hulahoop Preschool; Mataleng ECD; Holpan Day Care Centre; Waterworks Primary School; Galeshewe Educare Centre; St Boniface Preschool; El Shaddai ECD; Shalom Day Care Centre; Kagiso Day Care for Disabled Children; Redirile Creche; Roodepan ECD; Sivuyile ECD Centre; Lesedi Day Care Centre; and Helen Joseph Primary.