09 Oct 19 Communities News South Africa

Wind farm-funded initiative improves pre-school standards in Northern Cape

Noupoort Wind Farm's Sandisiwe Mntonintshi, middle, enjoys a tour of the award-winning Zingce ECD centre with Principal of the Year Vuyelwa Fuba, right, and practitioner Elrichia Olifant

A wind farm-funded initiative to raise pre-school learning standards in a Northern Cape community has made ‘noticeable’ progress since the start of the year.

The Education Quality Forum, which forms part of the Inclusive Neighbourhood Spaces team in Noupoort, singled out a number of Early Childhood Development centres, principals and practitioners for recognition at an awards ceremony.

Sandisiwe Mntonintshi, Economic Development Manager of Noupoort Wind Farm, which funds the forum as part of its socio-economic development programme, explained how forum members have been conducting monthly inspections of ECD centres in the area and providing feedback on their performance.

Curricula management, nutritional programmes, child protection policies and the participation and support of  school governing bodies are among the categories that form the basis of evaluation.

Sandisiwe said: “The Education Quality Forum is a body of ECD practitioners who hold the local Noupoort Early Childhood Development centres accountable to norms and standards as set out by the Department of Social Development.

“We are proud to note that since January 2019, it has been reported that 75% of the ECD centres have shown a noticeable improvement in adhering to child protection policies, which is of utmost importance in our society.”

The EQF panel honoured Zingce ECD centre in two categories - Adherence to the Child Protection Act and Childhood Protection Policies, and Overall Nutritional Programme.

Forum members noted that it not only served healthy balanced meals to its children but the space where they prepare food was always clean and safe.

Zingce’s Vuyelwa Fuba was also named Early Childhood Development Principal of the Year, with the glowing citation: “The dedication, passion, and consistence from the principal is exceptional. Her love for what she does and the way that she serves her community deserves every acknowledgement and encouragement.”

Best Practitioner of the Year went to Jessica Alfred, for her “dedication, consistency and passion for teaching”.

And Best Management of Outcomes-based Education Programmes was awarded to Vrokile Vinkies Creche.

  • The 80 MW Noupoort Wind Farm was developed, constructed and is now operated by Mainstream under the ownership of our Africa Joint Venture, Lekela Power.

Since connection to the Eskom grid in July 2016, its 35 turbines have been generating up to 304,800MWh of clean renewable energy per year, powering some 69,000 South African homes. View our Noupoort film here.