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!
Participants at the 13th meeting of the ECD Forum
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.
Excited Maths and Science learners after their orientation to online learning
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.
We have a unique opportunity to define the future of young children in South Africa by commenting on the Draft National Policy for Early Childhood Development. Comments are due by 24 April, 2015.
This landmark policy document aims to ensure that all children in South Africa, especially the most vulnerable, have access to the services and programmes they need to develop to their full potential.
Not only is this a children’s rights issue, but is also deeply important for the future of our society as a whole.
The evidence is increasingly clear that children’s life trajectories are set during the earliest years of their lives. Children who are well nourished, who are loved and well cared for, and who have rich opportunities to learn, are more likely to be happy, successful, and healthy adults.
Click on the link to read or download the Draft Policy.
If you would like to comment directly to government (by 24 April), please use the prescribed Comment Format.
If you would like to add your voice to a broader collective, please contact Michele Kay at 043 7438333, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our most fervent hope for 2015 is that children everywhere will be cared for, loved and protected. We hope that families, friends and teachers will be positive role-models, and that they will be able to provide excellent learning opportunities for children in their care.
During the year, there are a number of opportunities to advocate for children and families. Click on the links to find out more about each day. You can also download UNICEF’s Advocacy Calendar for South Africa 2015.
We hope 2015 brings great happiness to you, and to all children and their families.
IMPORTANT ADVOCACY DATES 2015
We wish you a very happy, restful and safe festive season. ITEC will be closing on 12 December 2014, and will reopen on 12 January 2015. We look forward to seeing you in the new year!
For your Christmas reading, we recommend the Harvard Centre on the Developing Child’s “Enhancing and Practicing Executive Function Skills with Children from Infancy to Adolescence”, which is downloadable free from here.