UBS/ Worley Parsons Early Childhood Development (ECD) Project
Published: October 11, 2016

Maths Centre Approach to Grade R

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-3-17-08-pmWhat research tells us: According to the shocking revelation of an audit done by the Department of Social Development released October 2015, more than 12 000 Grade R teachers need to attain the required Diploma in Grade R teaching or need to upgrade their qualifications”. The Auditor General of South Africa made a determination that the majority of Grade R teachers are not qualified. The following findings are very disturbing: In Limpopo 100% of Grade R teachers are unqualified; KZN 83% Northern Cape 85% ; Gauteng 56% and Western Cape 66%.

Research by Stellenbosch University on “The impact of the introduction of Grade R on learning outcomes” ; has indicated that unqualified Grade R teachers that have a limited understanding of their role in childhood development contribute to the poor quality of Grade R intervention programmes. A key strategy is paying more attention to the quality of Grade R, which entails: Training and support, including qualifications, knowledge of how children learn and how to facilitate learning to achieve Grade R learning outcomes. Curriculum issues include clear spelling out of practical guidelines and standards for teachers and improving understanding of the curriculum. The research by Stellenbosch University also found that 65% of Grade R learners enter Grade 1 without the necessary skills or concepts to master reading.

Quality is key: a quality curriculum, a quality teacher, and a quality response to developmental needs.

 

Our Approach: The key aim of our project is school readiness for the learner, to make a transition from Grade R to Grade 1. Quality teaching from a qualified teacher ensures a holistic life-long learner. Projects that skills and qualifications of the Grade R teacher, not only assist in identifying their role as a Grade R teacher but makes them feel valued as professionals in their field of work. The reality is that not all Grade R teachers are able to afford training programme costs. Maths Centre is thus looking at increasing our access to Grade R teachers to assist with quality teaching and learning via quality training, teacher motivation and ensuring sustainability. Our ECD projects have a strong practical and theoretical framework and is grounded in evidence around what works in the ECD and Grade R education sector.

 

Project Overview

Over the past 4 years, through our UBS/TWP ECD Project (Improving teacher and learner progression and teachers conceptual knowledge), Maths Centre has been working in schools/ECD centres in the Johannesburg North and South districts with the Departments of Education to support ECD/Grade R practitioners to gain skills and knowledge of improving their classroom teaching and learning methodologies, qualifications, understanding how children learn etc. The project has a strong practical and theoretical framework and is grounded in evidence around what works in the ECD and Grade R education sector. The practitioners in the programme completed their accredited ECD level 4 certificate (1 year) and ECD level 5 Diploma (18 months) in the project by attending weekly workshops. Key to the project success is the classroom support to ensure that practitioners were implementing what was discussed at workshops, advocacy campaigns (Parents Count, Share and Shine, Maps and Mirrors etc.), ICT training and various other project activities. The positive return on investment saw practitioners enrolling for Bed Primary Degree and ECD level 6 Diploma, increase in their salaries, and applying for Grade R positions at schools etc. Growing demand for the project has demonstrated that there is a need for practical, skillsbased, in-service teacher training programmes.

“Let every teacher champion their classroom, every parent their children, every grandparent their grandchildren with love, strong, discipline and core, no matter what it takes.”  –Sharanjeet Shan, Ceo: Maths Centre Incorporating Sciences

Maths Centre ECD Intervention

Maths Centre Methodology:

Project Impact

From the 20 practitioners in the project:screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-3-28-22-pm

  • 3 practitioners obtained Grade R positions at schools.
  • 10 practitioners registered with the South African Council of educators (SACE).
  • 2 ECD Centres in Alexandra Township registered with the Department of education and Social services for Grade R to be incorporated at the centre.
  • 2 practitioners got ECD management posts.
  • 4 practitioners have increased their salaries from R1500pm to R7000pm.
  • 6 practitioners registered with UNISA and completing a Bed Primary Teaching Degree.
  • 8 Grade R practitioners reregistered with the Department of education for 2016 are receiving the R7000 stipend after completing their accredited level 5 ECD Diploma.
  • Improvement in classroom teaching and Learning, learner progression noted.
  • ECD centres have made changes to their indoor and outdoor learning environments.
  • Teachers and learners received accolades and awards from the DOE.
  • Improvements in teacher and learner progression and teachers conceptual knowledge of ECD.

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Learner Gains…….Pre and Post Results

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The above graph outlines the mathematical level of the Grade R learners at the school; a 12% improvement has been achieved from the post-test of 2014 to 2015. There was a drop in the pre-test results in 2015 on concepts of counting, position and time. The teacher indicated that learners did not have good baseline knowledge as they commuted to school from Soweto and did not attend crèche as the learners in 2014 that lived in the local community and attended crèche. Learners improved their teaching and learning of concepts as the year progressed.

 

A word from our project recipients

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Constance Dlamini, St Martins Creche

“When I started attending the ECD level 4 and 5 accredited certificate and Diploma programme offered by Maths Centre, I did not know anything concerning children except that I was to look after them, teach them songs, Page 4 Newsletter Title A word from our project recipients……. Beauty Gaonathebe, Mara Primary School When I started attending the ECD level 4 accredited course, I was working at Ntataise Daycare Centre in Alexandra earning R1700 pm. After completing my level 4 and starting my level 5 ,with the assistance of Maths Centre I got a Grade R teaching position at Mara Primary School. I am now registered with the Department of Education and receive a stipend of R6000. “All children should have the best start in life to create a better future for themselves and for the nation.” like wild animals, days of the week etc. This course enlightened me to know the expectations that I expected to observe and monitor in children of different age groups. It also taught me which activities were suitable for different age groups and implement them accordingly. I didn’t know how to set up my rings and corners e.g. book corner, phonic table, morning ring, fantasy corner etc. My class used to be one big mess which was unorganized. Now I have sorted it out and taught my charges responsibly adding some ground rules to be followed. It taught me how to make my own play dough and finger paint with less expense. We were also fortunate to be offered free computer literacy training. Before that I couldn’t even put a computer on, let alone “Google”. Today I am proud to say I use a computer with a lot of ease.

“All children should have the best start in life to create a better future for themselves and for the nation.”

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Beauty Gaonathebe, Mara Primary School

 

When I started attending the ECD level 4 accredited course, I was working at Ntataise Daycare Centre in Alexandra earning R1700 pm. After completing my level 4 and starting my level 5 ,with the assistance of Maths Centre I got a Grade R teaching position at Mara Primary School. I am now registered with the Department of Education and receive a stipend of R6000. “All children should have the best start in life to create a better future for themselves and for the nation.” like wild animals, days of the week etc. This course enlightened me to know the expectations that I expected to observe and monitor in children of different age groups. It also taught me which activities were suitable for different age groups and implement them accordingly. I didn’t know how to set up my rings and corners e.g. book corner, phonic table, morning ring, fantasy corner etc. My class used to be one big mess which was unorganized. Now I have sorted it out and taught my charges responsibly adding some ground rules to be followed. It taught me how to make my own play dough and finger paint with less expense. We were also fortunate to be offered free computer literacy training. Before that I couldn’t even put a computer on, let alone “Google”. Today I am proud to say I use a computer with a lot of ease. This would not have been possible if I was not selected for this project. I was able to register for the ECD level 6 Diploma with the Department of Education because I am completing my level 5. I received 2 distinctions in my first semester results. I have turned my love of learning into a love of teaching, and I am proud of making a positive difference in the life of every learner I teach. The knowledge and skills I gained in my studies of ECD gave me a better understanding of different subject areas thus resulting in learners and myself being more confident in the knowledge required for the classroom teaching and learning. I was able to register for the ECD level 6 Diploma with the Department because I am completing my level 5. I received 2 distinctions in my first semester results. I would like to thank Maths Centre for selecting me to be part of the ECD level 4 and 5 course. Last but not least, thank you to the funders (UBS) for making it possible because without your support this would not have been possible. Thank you! thank you!

Other Project Activities

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Maths Centre Accredited ECD Training Programscreen-shot-2016-09-23-at-3-35-04-pm

Maths Centre rolled out its accredited ECD Level 4 and 5 programmes to 20 practitioners from 2012-2015. The objective of the accredited programme was to:

  • Ensure coverage of Unistandards as set out in SAQA requirements for the Qualification.
  • Improve the ECD Practitioners conceptual Knowledge
  • Instigate a learner Progression Programme
  • Instigate a Teacher Progression Programme

Maths centre has worked towards empowering the selected 20 practitioners from disadvantaged communities, to provide ECD learners with access to qualified ECD programs, that promote the child’s holistic development, support, health and welfare. Maths Centre believes that all children should have access to quality, sustainable early childhood development so that they can develop to their full educational and personal potential.

 

Maths Centre Accredited ECD Level 5 Diploma

  1. Communication Skills
  2. Active learning
  3. Health and Nutrition
  4. Develop and manage the ECD Learning Program
  5. Assessment
  6. Facilitation
  7. Reception Year
  8. Barriers to Learning
  9. ECD Centre
  10. Lifelong Learning and Development
Our ECD Numeracy Kit

Our ECD Numeracy Kit

Our Donors

 

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