ECD concerns voiced at protest

Gakeemah Dickson, Ruywada Hamid and Nazlie Isaacs from Hanover Park march for children's rights.

The group handed over a memorandum to the provincial Department of Social Development, which detailed issues such as lack of funding, lack of training for ECD teachers and that they wanted to be recognised as teachers, as they were qualified.

Nyanga resident Theodora Lutuli, a representative of Ubumbano ECD forum, said the department did not recognise or support them financially.

She said the memorandum detailed their frustration and
what they needed from the department.

“They are forcing us to close down. We don’t have facilities, we are not recognised as professional teachers, and we earn less that what prisoners do when they work – so who is more important here? We are the foundation of the future.”

Ruwayda Hamid, principal of Little Tots ECD in Hanover Park, said the rights of ECD teachers were not supported.

“We are based at my home and I’d like to have my own building so that the kids have more space. We teach 25 kids. We have asked for facilities but nothing ever happened.”

Joney Visage from Down in the Jungle Educare in Ravensmead said ECDs desperately needed funding.

“We look for sponsorships but we live in underprivileged communities who cannot afford to help us. We need funding for our teachers. Many of us go home with little to no salary because we cannot afford to pay them. “We are qualified but we are not seen to.”

Sarah Strauss, from Ravensmead ECD, said her creche, which looks after 95 children, runs without electricity and water, despite a number of battles with the City to have it switched on.

“I want the children to have a sense of dignity, but we cannot teach like this.”

Denise Gribble from Beacon Valley Educare in Mitchell’s Plain said they cannot send teachers on training and team building because there is no funding from the department.

“We struggle to use the computer and always have to ask someone to help with documents.”

The Department of Social Development did not respond to enquiries from the CapeTowner
by the time this edition went to print.