News from HPPSA

Preschools of the Future – Another Kind of Pre-schoolEarly childhood development is one of the South African Government's priorities. A draft report on Early Childhood Development was recently released by Human Sciences Research Council, which both highlights the progress and challenges in this area.

One of the findings is that access to ECD centres is "highly inequitable, with the poorest children having least access. Young children whose caregivers cannot afford to pay user fees are also excluded from centres. Overall, only an estimated 20% of 0 – 4-year-old children in the poorest 40% of households have access to some form of out-of-home care. The quality of programmes currently provided at many centres in impoverished communities is also not sufficient to ensure good child outcomes. "

Humana People to People has developed the concept of Pre-schools of the Future (POF), which not only aims at starting ECD centres in the most needy communities, but also aims to train teachers with a another kind of outlook when it comes to children and their communities.

HPP in South Africa wishes to start a big number of so called POF centres, which offer children a holistic approach to education, which develops their intellectual and physical abilities and at the same time brings them up to see themselves as part of a wider community. The POF centre will as it unfolds be a hub for community building with the children and the parents at centre. At the time of writing, the first three centres are being established in communities around Durban with the help of local communities, who make venues and other resources available.

15. POF Kids on line with their teacherAt the same time, HPP in South Africa has developed a 12 months training of a "POF" teacher. The education is conducted by the KwaZulu-Natal Experimental College in Durban, which is an accredited FET College and offers ECD training at NQL 4.

The POF teacher training is in itself a venture, as it is the belief of Humana People to People that the transformation of all education starts with the transformation of the teacher. HPP has trained primary school teachers in neighbouring countries for the last 20 years and has developed a unique model for training "Another Kind of Teacher", who sees himself as an agent of change in developing children and their communities. The same with the POF teacher. The POF teacher training program exposes the participants to practical experiences where they on bicycles visit communities throughout KwaZulu-Natal and learn first-hand about the lives of these communities. From there the participants go through both practical and theoretical training in child development, school management and pedagogic.

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