Early Childhood Development (ECD) teaching programme is a fairly new course that forms a special Unit at the DAPP Vocational Training School. This training programme is called Kindergarten Teachers of the Future, or POF Teacher Training (POF meaning Preschools of the Future). It is designed specifically for Namibia and is training students to work in rural communities where trained kindergarten teachers are mostly absent yet very much needed.
In Namibia since independence, the focus of the basic education was to make sure that every child would have an opportunity to go to school, this has now been achieved in the National Development Plan 4 and 5. It is therefore recognized that early childhood development is important in order to create a solid and equal foundation for every child to do well in school and for the school system to achieve better overall results. Hence, to address this need DAPP Namibia designed the two-year training Early Childhood Development (ECD) Teaching course which is registered with the Namibia Qualification Framework as a Diploma Level 5 and accredited by the Namibia Qualification Authority.
The ECD course has innovative content and uses methods that engage the students. The course aim is to train the students to become broadly knowledgeable, active and creative teachers with the passion and skills to teach young children through play. At the same time, the teachers are taught how to engage parents and the community to be part of creating the best possible conditions for the children to develop to their full potential. It is further aimed at training young Namibians to become good teachers for young children and entrepreneurs that are capable of starting and operating kindergartens in rural communities.
The training programme is divided into 4 periods:
- What is life all about. Traveling to get to know Namibia and its people better. Studies of Namibia, Africa, and the World.
- Kindergarten of the future. Practice in kindergartens and studies related to understanding children and basic teaching.
- Stamping our mark in kindergartens and studies related to engaging teaching, creating materials and good planning practices.
- Stamping our mark in communities and becoming a confident POF teacher with experience in working with parents and the community.
In 2018 we celebrated the NQA accreditation of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Teacher Training course the previous year by enrolling not one but two teams of 22 students for the first year of training, while the year two students were 20.
In total 64 students were studying in this course during 2018.