We were excited to have Brian Ramadiro, Deputy Director of the Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development, give the keynote address at ITEC’s Annual General Meeting in September.
Brian’s powerful talk resonated with everyone in the room. He spoke of the enduring link between early literacy, poverty, and social inequality in modern South Africa. Brian sketched out some of the almost intractable systemic challenges that hinder young learners, and called on us all to strengthen our resolve, and become more imaginative in our proposed solutions to the issues. His talk is available for download here.
Despite the gravity of Brian’s talk, we remembered the child in all of us. Each group of people built a LEGO model of Brian’s key points. The picture gallery below shows some of the scenes from a memorable AGM.
How do we ensure that all children can read fluently by the end of Grade 3?
In his keynote address, Professor Brahm Fleisch of Wits University, drew our attention to the evidence that a combination of good teaching practice and appropriate resources improves learner performance.
Prof. Fleisch pointed out that the teaching of reading in the Foundation Phase requires professional, committed staff. As a start, school leaders can prioritise early grade reading by
After discussing the essential components of reading, and the core methods for teaching reading, delegates deliberated on what is working in their schools, the challenges they face, and plans for improving reading in the Foundation Phase.
The Imbizo was part of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm Reading Coach programme.
The new National Integrated Early Childhood Development policy was up for discussion at the ECD Forum meeting on 19 July, 2016, which was co-hosted by the Network of Early Childhood Training Agencies (NECTA). The Forum Chairperson, Ms Michele Kay, gave an overview of the policy, after which participants explored the implications of the policy. We identified some concerns, many opportunities, and began to map some proposed actions for ECD stakeholders.
Click on the pictures below to scroll through the gallery.
We were extremely proud of some of the primary schools we work with in the Kouga area in the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s Foundation Phase Reading Coach Programme. Foundation Phase learners took part in a creative writing and art competition to mark Global Wind Day on 18 June.
The newspaper cutting below shows learners and staff at Patensie Primary School with ITEC staff member, Mr Zukile Ningi. Click on the picture to enlarge it.
A very vibrant and participatory meeting of the Eastern Cape Early Childhood Development Forum was held on 13 April 2016 at ITEC.
We discussed the soon-to-be published National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy, which was approved by Cabinet in December 2016 and should be publicly available shortly. The policy provides for a Comprehensive Package of services for all young children in the longer term, with Essential Components that must be provided in the short to medium term. The Policy reflects the worldwide understanding that our experiences during our earliest years affect our future lives profoundly, and that positive experiences have the potential to transform society for the better.
We were also excited to be involved in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality’s development of their new Child and Youth Strategy. For the first time, this will include a strong focus on the needs and rights of the youngest children. May this be the start of putting young children first in every Municipality in the province!
The University of Fort Hare also had wonderful news to share. In honour of the University’s centenary, the Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development is holding a Children’s Festival that will focus our attention on children, education and our multilingual future. Much of the Festival will focus on the language and literacy development of the youngest children.
The University is also making great strides in promoting development during early childhood. The UFH ECD Centre of Excellence has completed the first year of planning, and aims to provide a transdisciplinary focus for innovation, teaching and learning, research, and community engagement.
Documents from the meeting are available for download on our ECD Forum Meeting page. The next meeting will be on 20 July, 2016.
Every year, World Read Aloud Day draws attention across the globe to the power and joy of literacy. On 24 February this year, millions of people will be reading aloud or sharing stories with each other, and particularly with young children.
Anyone can do it – spend some time enjoying reading aloud to children, grandchildren, teens or adults. Or persuade the children to read to parents or grandparents!
ITEC is supporting Early Childhood Development in the deep rural area of Jingqi, near Willowvale in the Eastern Cape.
We recently partnered with local leadership, government departments, and the local people to raise awareness of the needs of the youngest children through a series of Jamborees in various rural villages. The crowds were entertained by traditional story-telling and dancing, and were able to access health and social services.
The wellbeing and development of our youngest children is key to our future. All children have the right to be loved, nurtured, and protected - but scientific evidence is increasingly clear that if our society pays attention to the needs of very young, we can reduce poverty and inequality, and improve the health and wellbeing of our whole population.
The Eastern Cape Early Childhood Development Forum facilitates dialogue and collaboration amongst people and organisations who care about young children. Participants come from across the province, and South Africa, to share information and best practice on a range of topics that affect young children. The Forum is currently hosted by ITEC.
For more information, pictures and documents, click on the ECD Forum tab.
Maths, Science and Technology
A group of promising Grade 12 learners have been introduced to ITEC’s Maths and Science programme.
The programme includes not only extra lessons on challenging Maths and Science topics, but also visits to local industry, science fairs and competitions, motivational talks and personal growth. For the past few years learners have also been introduced to end-user computing in our two 20-seater laboratories.
This year we are focusing even more on the rich maths and science resources available via modern technology. The subject experts working with the learners are encouraged to make use of the excellent free online videos and software available to maths and science teachers, while each learner on the programme is able to consolidate their learning through the Siyavula Intelligent Practice service.
Teachers are not left out – Grade 12 maths and science teachers are invited to attend regular seminars on challenging topics.
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