The Indaba Institute is partnering with other agencies to train Early Childhood Development practitioners. pic: Mndeni Vilakazi
The Indaba Institute is partnering with other agencies to train Early Childhood Development practitioners. pic: Mndeni Vilakazi

Cape Winelands ECD teachers get training that would benefit 30 000 children

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Aug 17, 2021

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A collaboration between various business and government stakeholders in the Cape Winelands are working together to train thousands of early childhood development practitioners to create job opportunities.

While popularly known for its tourism and picturesque scenery, the Winelands is also an area often mired in dire poverty and violence.

The ECD training campaign could benefit over 30 000 children in the Cape Winelands by 2025.

It is the brain-child of Indaba Institute founder and chairman Andre Shearer after witnessing the low levels of access to quality early care and ECD programmes

“We believe the majority of South African children may never reach their full potential as a direct result of poverty and lack of adequate nutrition, health and education,” explained Shearer.

Shearer said he believed that high-quality ECD could break the cycle.

CoRE Learning

The Indaba Institute provides quality training for teachers based in the Winelands’ communities. The teaching curriculum is based on the 110-year-old Montessorian education principles, and this is Southern Africa’s only teacher training centre accredited by the Association Montessori International (AMI).

Over the past three months a group of teachers from Kayamandi in Stellenbosch have participated in the pioneering pilot programme - called “Community Rooted Education” (CoRE).

The newly-trained women have now gone back out into their community to apply their newly acquired specialist knowledge in Montessori-based Early Childhood Development to the children from this low-income area.

Shearer said: “Our training enables teachers to become true observers of the child – to train their minds to understand the needs of the child and prepare an environment that serves children's development.”

The Indaba chairman said a focus on, and an investment in, Early Childhood Development is the greatest investment in South Africa.

“For this reason that I decided to create the Indaba Institute - to empower teachers to provide the best ECD education possible to the next generations, thereby helping to ultimately break the cycle of poverty,” he said.

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