A fairly new course is the Early Childhood Development (ECD) teaching course, that forms a special Unit at the DAPP Vocational Training School. This training programme, called Kindergarten Teachers of the Future, or POF Teacher Training (POF meaning Preschools of the Future) is designed specifically for Namibia and is training students to work in rural communities where trained kindergarten teachers are most absent but are 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 and in the National Development Plan 4 and 5 it is recognized that early childhood development before formal schooling 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.
To address this need DAPP Namibia designed the two-year training programme which is registered on the Namibia Qualification Framework as a Diploma Level 5 and it is also accredited by the Namibia Qualification Authority.
The course has an innovative content and uses methods that engage the students. The course aims at training 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.
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.
- 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 2017 the main results in numbers were:
- 60 students graduated with accredited Level 5 ECD Teaching Diplomas
- Enrollment of 44 new students for two teams to start in January 2018