30 October 2023.

A recent graduation event acknowledged a significant assembly of Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners, marking one of the largest cohorts in both the Northern Cape and Free State Provinces. This underscores the persistent dedication to enhancing education in the region. Distinguished participants from the Department of Education, Sol Plaatje University, the Northern Cape Premier’s Office, educational experts, and benevolent bursary sponsors were present to celebrate and support over 100 practitioners on their two-year educational journey.

Britstown local, Funiwe Bob, who has six years of experience in Early Childhood Development (ECD), is among the graduates who have received their certificates with pride. During her interview, she emphasizes her passion for teaching and credits hard work as the key to her success.

“Through my ECD practitioner training, I’ve acquired invaluable knowledge on the various stages of child development. I’ve learned how to plan for different age groups, the significance of confidentiality, and the appropriate conduct when working with young children. Among all the unit standards, grasping the nuances of baby, toddler, and young child development truly illuminated my journey. Thanks to our dedicated facilitators for their clear explanations,” said Funiwe Bob, ECD practitioner at Masifundisane Day Care, having achieved a Further Education and Training Certificate: Early Childhood Development, NQF level 4.

She is one of the graduates funded by De Aar Solar Power, as part of its socio economic development programme, which has a strong focus on education within the communities of De Aar, Britstown, and Philipstown.

Two cohorts of ECD practitioners graduated with Early Childhood Development qualifications, comprising 66 students awarded their Further Education and Training Certificate: Early Childhood Development, NQF level 4; and 39 their Higher Certificate: Early Childhood Development, NQF Level 5, totalling 105.

Funding from De Aar Solar Power, Droogfontein Solar Power, and Boshof Solar Power allowed the Northern Cape Department of Education to increase the number of ECD Practitioners that could access bursaries and add to the general upliftment of education in this region of the country.

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