February 08, 2011
A US-based NGO, with a mission of empowering students and teachers through an exchange of learning, partners with an award-winning safari company to improve early childhood education in rural South Africa.
Teach With Africa has partnered with Singita Sabi Sand and other lodges within the wider Sabi Sand Reserve, as well as with the READ Educational Trust, to focus on capacity building within pre-schools in the communities bordering the Reserve. The pilot program will focus on capacity building in the area of Early Childhood Development by placing three ECD specialists at rural pre-schools and by using Teach With Africa’s ‘teach the teachers’ model.
The program is designed to move pre-school education in the Sabi Sand area to the next level. At present, many caregivers are non-matriculated volunteers but are enthusiastic and eager to learn. Ten of these schools have already received foundation training from READ in a programme funded and organized by Singita and the Department of Education. Experienced Teach With Africa ECD specialists in partnership with READ and local educators, are developing this intensive training program with the aim of both consolidating skills amongst the caregivers and equipping them to share their knowledge with peers from other schools.
In its first year, the programme will focus on providing support for the Happy Homes and Ntshuxekani pre-schools in Justicia, both of which have been part of the READ-run programme, with eventual expansion to other local schools.
“In our view, to have an excellent volunteer teacher working on a daily basis with a local teacher will add immense value,” said Pam Richardson, Community Development Manager for Singita Game Reserves. “The schools are eager to embrace the teaching expertise embodied by the Teach with Africa representatives and their involvement will serve to cement their learning from the formal training workshops they have attended. This partnership program will help to maximize teaching skills as well as enhance the skills required to manage a school.”
“We all know that quality education begins in early childhood, and getting the opportunity to augment the pre-school teacher training efforts already underway will allow Teach With Africa to expand its reach to the youngest children in South Africa, and have an early impact on the next generation,” said Amy Schoew Executive Director for Teach With Africa. “Partnering locally is one of our top programme criteria, and partnering with Singita – a world-class safari company committed to sustainable community development – is part of Teach With Africa’s commitment to excellence.”
Teach With Africa (www.teachwithafrica.org) is a non-profit organization empowering students and teachers by bringing educators to Africa to teach and learn. Teach With Africa supports academic programmes, educational leadership initiatives, and community development training by placing experienced educators in underserved schools and centres. Teach With Africa is committed to working with local partners to create success for African students and teachers.
READ Educational Trust (www.read.co.za) is a South African-based non profit organisation that operates in the education and literacy sectors broadly, and in educator training and school resource provision specifically. Established in 1979 and funded by foreign donors and the private sector, READ works alongside the Department of Education to implement teacher training and literacy projects in South African schools.