In order to roll out the ELOM in support of quality ECD programming, training accredited assessors has been our primary activity. There have been two ELOM assessor training weeks in 2018.

In August, Ntataise Lowveld and RCL foods generously assisted the ELOM team in hosting a training week based in Malelane and working with Siswati-speaking schools in Mzinti. Twelve trainee assessors attended the training from six organisations including Ntataise Lowveld, Penreach, Lima, Sithuthukile Trust, Asha Trust, and Siyathuthuka. In October, another week was hosted by the Foundation for Community Work in Athlone, Cape Town, and enabled training for isiXhosa, Afrikaans and English speaking assessors. The five organisations attending the Cape Town-based training were the Knysna Education Trust, The Unlimited Child, Foundation for Community Work, Drakenstein Child Health, and Mothers2Mothers. All in all, ten new organisations involved with young children from around the country have been involved in ELOM assessor training over the last couple of months. They join the list of 38 organisations working in ECD from around the country with trained ELOM assessors.

In preparation for the training, the week-long training programme and materials were slightly adjusted.  We developed a new isiXhosa training DVD with English transcriptions. The Teacher Assessment of the Child has been uploaded to the tablet and instructions were included for this, detailed instructions on quintile allocation and measuring a child’s height were also included, and a Xitsonga translation of the manual was undertaken.

To enable each trainee to have at least three opportunities for supervised practice in assessing a child, trainees were divided into small groups. Groups of three to four assessors each with an expert trainer/training assistant took turns to assess children, give and receive feedback and check consistency of scoring. A further hour was spent every afternoon on the morning’s feedback. All of our training venues at RCL Foods in Malelane and the Foundation for Community Work in Athlone, Cape Town have been fantastic – peaceful, organised, and very user friendly. It helps tremendously having an experienced training team, and we have taken the opportunity this year to up-skill four of our ELOM assessors into capable Assistant Trainers. For this, we are sincerely grateful to the Learning Initiative and Sikhula Sonke for supporting their staff become assistant trainers.