ITEC envisages a child-friendly South Africa where all children are able to access opportunities for optimal development.

We believe that children have the right to live in a safe, caring, and stimulating environment, and that they deserve the care and education that will equip them for tomorrow's world.

  If you would like to donate, please contact us at 043 7438333. We have Section 18A status -  your donation is tax deductible. 

ITEC is 30 years old, and the focus is still on children

ITEC is 30 years old this year!  We are planning a series of events to celebrate over the year, culminating in our AGM in September.

We kicked off our birthday celebrations with a focus on the needs of young children, a theme that has run through ITEC’s work for the past 30 years. Over 70 guests attended a Jamboree at ITEC to share information about the essential services that children need and have a right to receive.

A range of government departments and civil society organisations shared information with the Early Childhood Development Practitioners who attended. And it was a great networking opportunity for practitioners and service providers!

Click on a picture to scroll through the gallery.


International Book Giving Day

International Book Giving Day

Giving a book to a child is so simple, and can make such a difference.

14th February is International Book Giving Day, when people around the world make an extra effort to provide children with books.  Stories and books are not only a source of joy and pleasure to children (and adults), but also support language and concept development, and critical thinking.

In South Africa, only about one in five children* has more than 25 books at home, and very few schools**  have functioning school libraries.

At ITEC, we are trying to make a difference.  We work with schools from disadvantaged communities to set up classroom libraries.

If you would like to help make a difference too, donate good quality books you no longer need, or perhaps a book voucher.  If you would like to know more, call the ITEC Librarian at 043 7438 333.

And start thinking about World Read Aloud Day on 16 February!

* Source: Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2015.  You can download the latest South African reports on Grade 5 and Grade 9 here. The Grade 5 study found that children with access to more than 25 books at home achieved 45 points (equivalent to a grade) higher for mathematics and science (see page 8). Grade 9 learners with more than 25 books at home achieved 47 points more for maths and 58 points higher for science.  You can download the latest South African reports on Grade 5 and Grade 9 here.

**Information about school libraries:

The State of School Libraries in South Africa (2013), published in the Journal of Education, University of Kwazulu-Natal.

The State of Libraries in South Africa (2015), jointly published by the Department of Arts and Culture and the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA).

Equal Education is a good source of information about the campaign for all schools to have libraries.




Welcome, 2017


AGM Keynote address: Early Literacy, poverty and social inequality

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.




‘Leading for Reading’ Imbizo

How do we ensure that all children can read fluently by the end of Grade 3?

  • That was the key question discussed by primary school principals, heads of the Foundation Phase, and Uitenhage Education officials at the ‘Leading for Reading’ Imbizo in Jeffreys Bay on 21 September.

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

  • placing their freshest, most committed, professional teachers in the Grade 1 class
  • deciding to have smaller classes in the Foundation Phase.

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.

















ECD Forum meeting on 19 July 2016

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.

Global Wind Day

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. 

Wind day


Early Childhood Development Forum

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.



Happy World Read Aloud Day!

reading family

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!





Our project in Jingqi

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.