Amidst much excitement children, parents, community members, and representatives from the Department of Education, gathered to celebrate the launch of the newly renovated and enlarged Tshwaraganang ECD Centre in Hertzogville, Free State, last month.
The Centre caters for children aged from infancy through to Grade R and as a result of the upgrade has been able to increase the number of children under its care from 42 to 73, with capacity to accommodate up to 114 children.
The extensive infrastructure upgrade includes four new classrooms, a renovated kitchen, storage room, an ablution block, fencing, outdoor equipment, and a prized food garden – a highlight amongst the young children.
Addressing attendees at the handover, the Department of Education’s Chief Education Specialist: Curriculum Management and Support, ECD and Primary Schools, Mrs Amelia Mofokeng shared, ‘We appreciate the partnership we have with Boshof Solar Power. As defined by the Children’s Act 38 of 2005, Early Childhood Development is a process of development – it’s ongoing for children from birth to school readiness age across the seven pillars of emotional, cognitive, sensory, moral, physical, social and communication. As the Department of Education, we cannot address all of these needs alone, we rely on the community and partners such as Boshof Solar Power to achieve the best for our children.’
This is the fifth Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre rebuild, funded by Boshof Solar Power, as part of its extensive ECD programme, aimed at improving education within the communities of Boshof and Hertzogville.
“We are excited to have been able to provide a crèche that is better, safer and offers an uplifting environment for these young children and their teachers. We have no doubt that this will help to stimulate the love of learning, so that these children can reach their milestones and appropriate development levels, in adequately resourced facilities,” said Zuki Ndlela, Economic Development Specialist for Boshof Solar Power.
The solar plant’s ECD programme extends to funding training for practitioner and crèche governing bodies, to ensure that ECD centres, which are charged with providing care for this crucial development phase, are well managed. This is in line with Boshof Solar Power’s commitment to investing in early education, so that children from the Tokologo Municipality’s communities, have equal potential for development and growth.
“During this phase of education, children learn foundational cognitive abilities, attitudes, and skills in preparation for primary school and the rest of their lives, hence the funding of ECD projects is a key part of our programme as it supports our country’s National Development Plan and the resilience of our beneficiary communities,” added Ndlela.
The construction was undertaken by a Free State-based company, which also provided additional jobs to 3 local Hertzogville subcontractors and 17 construction workers, thereby adding to the local benefits.
“We are pleased to have been able to simultaneously support multiple community organisations, namely the construction company and sub-contractors, and of course the crèche, as we like to employ local skills for services required, as it boosts and empowers local SMME’s,” concluded Ndlela.
The Boshof Solar Power’s enterprise development programme looks to empower small enterprises within the Tokologo Municipality’s communities of Boshof, Hertzogville and Dealesville.