Skills development centre’s ECD course now accredited

From left, are board members, Reverend Chris Hartnick, Colleen Engel, Nadeema Parker, Daylon Fredericks, consultant Mercy Mgijima, Georgina Fabrick, guest Michel Assure, Chadwin Theunissen and Nicola Pather.

Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners in Bonteheuwel or surrounding areas without formal education can now gain an accredited qualification with help from the Ashley Kriel Skills Development Centre (AKSDC).

The centre, which is a registered non-profit organisation (NPO), was opened in 2016 when the representative council of learners (RCL) from Bonteheuwel High School recognised the need for access to job opportunities for the youth.

Bonteheuwel High principal Nicola Pather said the pupils had been inspired by the documentary, Action Kommandant, the story of freedom fighter Ashley Kriel, which was released in 2016. Ashley Kriel was a pupil of the school.

Recognition of prior learning applies for the new Level 4 ECD course. Other AKSDC courses include a programme that tells matrics about further education opportunities, a work-readiness programme, hairdressing and teacher-assistant training.

Some 25 ECD centres in Bonteheuwel attended an information session about the new course at Bonteheuwel High School’s hall on Saturday April 24. Michel Assure, the older sister of the slain freedom fighter, was also there.

Said Ms Pather: “Our strategy is to first capacitate and build the ECDs in the community. We know that the staff is passionate, but they do not have the qualifications. We are looking at training teachers, managers, also the health and safety aspect, and all other stakeholders within the ECD sector.”

Michael Wilhelm from the Bonteheuwel Educare Forum said that when he had mentioned this opportunity in the forum’s group chat, they had an overwhelming response from ECD practitioners who would like to do the course.

Virginia Jacobs, from Sweet Things Educare, said: “Many have the love and passion for the work, but not all of us have the qualification. I think I speak for many when I thank the AKSDC for this initiative.”

Ms Pather, who is a founder member of the AKSDC, said they wanted to empower the community of Bonteheuwel.

“One way of empowering the community is with quality education, as this lays the foundation to everything else. Part of our long-term plan is to also show ECD managers how to access funding,” Ms Pather said.