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Values-based Teaching Certificates Given to Trainers at DUT

Values-based Teaching Certificates Given to Trainers at DUT

It was a day of jubilation when 160 trainees drawn from the areas of Umlazi, Umzinto, Kwa Makutha, Folweni and Hammarsdale received their 2017 certificates in value-based training at the Durban University of Technology, Mansfield Hall, last week.

The event is part of a partnership programme between the Gandhi Development Trust (GDT) and the DUT: Early Childhood Development (ECD) Values Education Project (VEP).

Among the guests in attendance were DUT staff, students, external stakeholders, the Department of Social Development representatives from the office of the MEC,  Durban South Region, Mrs N Mhlongo and Ms G Job, respectively, and the Umlazi District Programme co-ordinator representative from the Department of Education.

The trainees have successfully completed the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Values Education Project (VEP) called the Izimpande Zobuntu (the roots of Ubuntu).

According to Kanya Padayachee, project co-ordinator of the Gandhi Development Trust (GDT), in 2013 the GDT started the ECD VEP to address children’s exposure to the levels of violence and unethical conduct in society.

“The Gandhi Development Trust (GDT) was established in 2002.  Its aim is to promote a peaceful, just and non-violent world and for the promotion of a culture of peace, justice, non-violence and ubuntu. Against this background, it is likely that children will develop naturally into caring and socially responsible adults since they mainly learn how to behave by watching people around them.

The ECD VEP is an intervention designed to instill a core set of universal values – underpinned by ubuntu – in children, by training the practitioner (teacher) to develop a values frame of reference in her teaching practice. The social impact is that children in these critical years are taught to relate to others and the environment in non-violent and respectful ways,” she said. 

Padayachee added that in addition to the core values’ training, a parallel programme, supported by the relevant DUT departments, have contributed significantly to the knowledge for the whole child development, and, created meaningful community engagement opportunities for these departments.  The project, currently in the fourth phase of implementation, has progressively grown and delivered significant results in terms of skilling the supervisors, training the practitioners, improving sites, promoting values, encouraging holistic learning through the parallel programmes: food and nutrition (including food gardens), creative arts and physical development and effecting participatory learning.

She stressed that in the four years, the number of practitioners trained in the values-based programme delivery had increased phenomenally – from the initial phases of 14 trainees in the first two years and about 560 children impacted to the current number of 160 trainees and a total of 6400 children reached. Padayachee said this year, 2017, a values-based parent enrichment training programme was also added to support and reinforce the values learnt at pre-school. 

“Annually, we inspire and motivate our trainees who have successfully completed the training programme by awarding certificates of completion and officially bringing the training course for the year to an end. All speakers at the event acknowledged the urgent need for an intervention in children’s early years to stem the tide of violence and destructive behaviour spiralling out of control in our society. They also commended GDT for its timely and critically important values education project and the outcomes achieved, thus far,” she said.

Padayachee also added that in recognising the commitment and effort of the awardees, they urged the trainers to implement the values training programme, so that the GDT collectively commits to sustainably developing socially responsible children and future adults.

One of the more significant outcomes of the GDT/DUT partnership of forging a link between institutions of higher learning and communities was aptly captured in the words of one of the community mentors, Skhumbuzo Hadebe, in his address to the current trainees: “Today is a big day for you as history is being made in you receiving your certificates at DUT. This is a memory to share with the next generation that you were able to enter these doors of learning, especially since most of us did not have the opportunity to study at a university level, and we have the Values Education Project to thank for this.”

 

Pictured: Trainees who have successfully completed the training programme with their certificates.

 

Kanya Padayachee /Waheeda Peters

 

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