This past week, our ECD project manager, Poonam Dwarkarm attended the 13th ECD Knowledge Building Seminar in Pretoria. The purpose of this seminar was to discuss the past 25 years of ECD as well as how we can shape and mould the next 25 years. The seminar covered an array of different topics split into 3 different sessions/sections.
The first session was on celebrating the past 25 years of ECD. This section discussed how far ECD has come and how it has immensely changed, for the better. An education manager from UNICEF shared research that has been done for ECD as well as statistics which show where ECD stands and how we are progressing.
The second session details how we can we shape the future and the next 25 years. A panel of veterans shared their wisdom on how they think we can change the future of ECD. One of the main points made was that it is all in the playing. The best way to develop children is through constant and everyday play based learning. Playing also involves the availability and quality of learning as well ample teaching materials and support. There are currently 150,000 online training resources that are being used for Play Based Learning techniques.
Lastly was celebrating the ECD workforce for all they have done and the hard work they have put in. Another panel of practitioners came together to discuss their different roles as well as challenges they face and needs/ requirements as to what would benefit them and or make their lives in ECD easier.
Overall, it was an extremely beneficial seminar and Poonam greatly enjoyed it and expanded her knowledge significantly. She received multiple new learning resources to be used as well as new techniques for Play Based Learning. Thank you to UNICEF AND DBE for hosting the seminar.