Early Childhood Development practitioners are often neglected, let’s celebrate them too. Picture: Tracey Adams
Early Childhood Development practitioners are often neglected, let’s celebrate them too. Picture: Tracey Adams

Call for Early Childhood Development practitioners to be included in World Teachers’ Day celebrations

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Oct 1, 2021

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Early Childhood Development (ECD) sets the foundation of every child’s education and journey discovery. This is why the Indaba Institute is calling for ECD practitioners to be included in the celebration of teachers as we mark World Teachers’ Day.

World Teachers’ Day will be celebrated on October 5.

Indaba Institute chairperson André Shearer said: “This World Teachers’ Day, we must celebrate all our teachers, and not neglect those who educate, care for, and enable our very youngest South Africans.

“This call to honour ECD teachers also acknowledges that quality ECD training is often absent, especially in South Africa’s most vulnerable communities, where poverty, unemployment and gender-based violence are rife.”

Shearer, who has been a fierce advocate of quality ECD, said research has indicated that early childhood is a critical phase in a child’s life.

“Brain development and brain plasticity prior to around the age of five is absolutely singular in its importance for human development. Early childhood development, when implemented properly, allows for an open architecture – they learn to concentrate, they learn to love, to learn, and they learn to take charge of their lives with great relish, she said.

The Indaba Institute, which focuses on training ECD practitioners on the outskirts of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, said they are often neglected and not praised for the work they do.

Indaba Institute director Jasmine Jacob said: “In South Africa, we know that teachers who are passionate and committed to child and community development are not always supported in working with children from all walks of life. We are also aware that the ways of teaching and learning that can address challenges like this have been inaccessible to those in our society that need it most.

Jacob explained that early childhood education refers to the teaching of children between infancy and kindergarten age – some of the most important years of a child’s life.

“In their earliest academic years children develop skills in socialisation, communication, critical thinking, focus, self-control, and self-motivation – all of which are necessary for success in school and in life,” the ECD activist shared.

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