Volkswagen Community Trust

Ikhwezi Lomso ECD Centre

16 August 2016

VWSA's focus on Early Childhood Development (ECD) will be even greater this year with significant improvements made to the Volkswagen funded Ikhwezi Lomso Centre.

As of this year, Ikhwezi Lomso is now established as a Montessori ECD Centre catering for three, four and five year old children. Montessori is a method of education  based on self directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process.

The school has been a Grade R centre since 2011 but because of the consistent development problems the children were displaying over the past four years, it was decided to intervene at an earlier age.

"Our goal is to promote functional literacy in the first 10 years of a child's life. Converting Ikhwezi Lomso to a Montessori Centre supports our strong focus on reducing functional illiteracy, education and mental stimulation of young children," said Nonkqubela Maliza, Corporate and Government Affairs Director.

"It is proven that when a child can read with comprehension by the age of ten years, their learning is amplified and chance of doing well further in their schooling career improved significantly, " added Nonkqubela Maliza.

The Centre has made a seamless transition to a Montessori Centre this year and currently has 60 children who are from the KwaNobuhle, Langa, Kabah and Western areas.

"We made the change to a Montessori because of the effect this will have on the children as research also proves that this type of education has a positive impact on boosting cognitive, educational and other developmental progress in children," concluded Nonkqubela Maliza.

Last year four teachers were employed and commenced training in July. They will be completing their practical examination in April 2016 and will then hold a Level 5, Montessori qualification.

In addition to these changes, Ikhwezi Lomso is also establishing itself as a Montessori training centre and is planning in collaboration with partner, ELF Montessori from Cape Town, to train a further 10 students in the academic year June 2016 - June 2017.