RESULT: ECD centres improve on their teaching and facilities.
In 2013, when First Children started getting involved in Montessori education in the Coffee Bay area, there was only one trained teacher, at one school, serving around 40 children. It was clear that there was a need to offer skills development to build local capacity for ECD education to grow and flourish. When canvassing in the area for people to join the proposed training course, two women from local schools stepped forward. At the time, these schools had meager resources and only the most basic of facilities.
Owing to the level of poverty in the area, the families of the children attending these schools generally did not pay school fees, nor did they understand and appreciate the importance of education in this critical time of their children’s development so school attendance was low.
Through the training, mentoring and investment from First Children, over 20 individuals from local communities have been trained in ECD and schools in the area have seen significant structural and educational improvements.
“The community is so happy about the school now. Even in this short time there is now a waiting list. The parents are proud and take an interest in the classroom. They see the Montessori school is clean. They didn’t understand the activities at first, they thought we were just playing, but I have explained that every activity is preparing the child for the school life, to write, to read and to use their brain. With the help of the parent meetings, each time they come I show them around so that they are familiar. So they understand now. They are aware of the materials and if they find something in the pockets, they know it must be back to school, they return it and no longer throw it in the grass. I feel so proud to have this beautiful school, classroom and new material. I feel confident that I can do a better job. It makes us to be more interested and more committed to our work and the children.”