South Africa: Center for Creative Education
A nice room with an undercover shelter for the training of Waldorf teachers in Cape Town
At the Centre for Creative Education (CCE) 103 people are currently being trained as Waldorf teachers and educators. Training at the CCE focuses on child development and how teachers can establish their own programmes for creative and holistic teaching. Here, the wonders of childhood are explored through art, movement, music, story-making, storytelling, handwork and crafts. Arts and crafts are central parts of the curriculum so that students can later teach them to the children in their care. Often the students start off not knowing how to do craft but during the training their confidence grows and they realise how artistic work can be a central tool to support the learning process at a deeper level.
Due to declining income during the Covid-19 pandemic, the CCE did not have the financial resources to maintain the building and premises. Many of the students could no longer afford the basic fees for education at the CCE because they lost their jobs and had to support other family members. 90% of the students received a bursary and only paid between 16% and 20% of the fees before the pandemic, which is about 1,500 euros per person. Now it is even less.
The CCE would like to provide the students with a nice room, as the building and classrooms are now quite rundown. It is their wish to paint one of the classrooms and to build an undercover shelter outside the classroom and have some benches so that the students have a space to sit that is undercover whether it rains or it is too hot. It can get very hot in Cape Town, so it is important to have shaded areas. The outdoor area is also to be repainted and beautified.
The cost of painting, building the canopy and buying benches is 50,000 South African Rand, which is about €3000.
About the project:
Early childhood, the first six or seven years of a child's life, is marked by a deep sense of wonder and natural curiosity. During these crucial first years, a child learns many vital skills, develops human relationships and attitudes to learning that set the tone for the rest of his or her life. An atmosphere of loving warmth and guidance that promotes this sense of wonder and reverence, supports healthy development.
The most important aspect of this work is the inner attitude of the teacher and kindergarten teacher who must set an example for the child. In order to be worthy of imitation for the child, the teacher/ kindergarten teacher must do a lot of inner work. The training of kindergarten teachers to support and accompany these young children is therefore crucial.
Aware of this important work, the Centre for Creative Education (CCE) began training teachers to work in Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres, which are predominantly located in the township communities outside Cape Town. The training helps ECD teachers to lovingly nurture and guide children during these important formative years. The women and men who attend the training mainly come from households with a very low monthly income of €100 to €250, and it is almost impossible for them to be able to pay for the training and transport to get to the training. These factors have worsened during and after the pandemic.
The 103 people who currently attend the training at the CCE are willing to work hard. They attend class two days a week and then spend three days working or volunteering at Early Childhood Development (ECD) sites. At the ECD sites the students practice everything that they have learnt during their lessons and spend time observing and actively engaging with and caring for the children.
The aim is to empower students to think imaginatively, to be productive and to work on their own self-development. Thus, the care and education of children will be improved, employment opportunities for students will be increased, their salary opportunities after graduation will be improved and they will be able to start their own educares should they want to.