News from HPPSA

POF - Preschool Teacher Training in DurbanWhile South Africa battles child poverty, inadequate child healthcare and nutrition as well as a wanting quality of education, it has become important for Humana People to People to join hands with communities to address the educational needs of young children.

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As a direct response to improve access to quality preschool education in the country, Humana People to People in South Africa has developed a preschool teacher training curriculum and activities which will commence at the KwaZulu-Natal Experimental College (KNEC) during the 2014 academic year.

The goal is to provide a combination of theoretical and practical Early Childhood Development (ECD) training over a period of 12 months to young people from less fortunate backgrounds who are interested in working to improve the lives of children in pre-schools.

The project aims to ensure that children aged 2 - 5 from disadvantaged backgrounds will receive the care and support needed to develop into well-adjusted, responsible adults.

"Investment in quality preschool education will have far reaching consequences for the country," says Edwick Mafama, Principal of KNEC. "Children that have accessed quality preschool education invariably perform well in their schooling and have a higher chance of acquiring skills and qualifications that can contribute to the country's economic development."

Whilst the provision of public and private preschool education has increased over the years in South Africa, according to UNICEF it is still only 43% of children under 5 years who attend preschool.

In a movement to make preschool education more accessible, Humana People to People has established a model in South Africa aimed at providing comprehensive Early Childhood Development services to children from less fortunate circumstances in an efficient and sustainable manner.

Known as Preschools of the Future (POF), the model is designed to provide quality preschool education to children that will prepare them for primary school.POF a Humana People to People project

"Preschool education is critical to children's cognitive, emotional and physical development. It plays an important role in getting young children ready for primary school education and life outside the home," explains Ms. Nondumiso Khethwa, POF Campaigner for Humana People to People Child Aid.

"Preschools of the Future also stimulates entrepreneurship at grassroots level to empower people to lift themselves out of poverty and contribute to reducing the high levels of unemployment currently faced by South Africa."

Nondumiso Khethwa is confident that with the skills learnt from the teacher training project - along with support from Humana People to People - teachers will be equipped to develop their own sustainable Early Childhood Development centres and extend their activism to take part in development initiatives that impact on the quality of childhood in the communities that they will work with.

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