Alice Chomane, Thulile Maseko, Ernestina Letsela & Hedwig Mabula in the Free State

In order to roll out the ELOM in support of quality ECD programming, training accredited assessors has been our primary activity.

In November 2016, True North in Cape Town and Cotlands in Johannesburg generously assisted the ELOM team in hosting two training weeks. The six organisations attending the CT training were Masibumbane, Clothing Bank, the Institute of Training and Education for Capacity-building (ITEC), Khululeka, Sikhula Sonke and True North. The five organisations attending the Gauteng-based training were SmartStart, Letcee, Tree, Cotlands and the Network Action Group (NAG).

Sandra Mokwena & Matshidiso Kali in the Free State

“I’m going to practice at home and work with my colleague first and go to field.”

– Trainee Assessor

And then it was to the frosty, beautiful Free State that the ELOM team travelled to this June 2017 to train twelve trainee assessors in Rammulotse – the largest group yet trained in one week. Five organisations, all members of the Ntataise Network participated in the week: Ntataise itself, Katlehong Early Learning Resource Unit (KELRU), Lesedi, Realebogabakubung, and Tshepang Educare Trust. In July 2017, ITEC were gracious enough to host the fourth training week in East London in which the Bulungula Incubator, Knysna Education Trust, Khululeka, Lebone Centre, Ubunye Foundation, The Unlimited Child (TUC), and ITEC all participated.

Papama Mateza in Cape Town

“I feel like my confidence in the ELOM training has boosted my self esteem.” 

– Trainee Assessor

All in all, 22 organisations involved with young children from around the country have been involved in ELOM assessor training over the last seven months – an impressive footprint of influence!

“I love the tool.  It checks all areas of holistic development which is very important for ECD.”

– Trainee Assessor

Betty Mphasa, Marieta Visser & Lucy Mifi in the FreeState

In preparation for the training, the training programme and materials were adjusted.  We developed a new training DVD in line with final items and some administration improvements.   Three children were videotaped to give an indication of how children of different ages and temperaments responded and to provide a very clear example to use for checking the scoring of trainee assessors against our gold standard expert trainer.  A section on the Teacher Assessment of the Child was included, a Sesotho translation of the manual was undertaken, and for paper-based scoring in the event of need for a backup, an Excel spread sheet was developed.

“The assessment itself was scary at first but getting easier when times go on.”

– Trainee Assessor

To enable each trainee to have at least three opportunities for supervised practice in assessing a child, all trainee groups were divided into three groups.   Groups of 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.

“It was completely comfortable – manuals were there, tablet, stop watch and kit box so it was easy to use.”

– Trainee Assessor

All four of our training venues at True North in Vrygrond, Cotlands in Turfontein, Ntataise on Huntersvlei Farm, and ITEC in East London have been fantastic – peaceful, organised, and very user friendly, with the schools visited all close by and welcoming. The host teams have all been a tremendous support, and have gone out of their way to ensure all logistics ran smoothly. Thank you!

Hedwig Mabula & Ernestina Letsela in the Free State

It helps tremendously having an experienced training team: Linda Biersteker, Inge Sonn and Elizabeth Girdwood have run more than five training weeks, Pumla Mkhiva has been involved in four ELOM training weeks in KZN, Gauteng, Lesotho and the Free State, Marieta Visser three training weeks in the North West, Gauteng and the Free State, Marinel Rothman has run two weeks in the North West and Gauteng, Sivenesi Subramoney has been part of three training weeks in Cape Town and East London, and Aletta Ngangani has supported one week in East London after being trained as an assessor in November.

“Training was well presented and it was great giving us an opportunity to assess even if it was overwhelming on the first day.”

– Trainee Assessor

Feedback from participants on the aspects of their ELOM administration that could be improved included the careful organisation of their kits, being more prepared each time, and getting more input on the Paper Scoresheet – especially the different columns.

“The training was completely comfortable and competent because it is relevant to our daily work at our organisations.”

– Trainee Assessor

Inge Sonn-De Minck, Okuhle Hamza, Sivenesi Subramoney, Thobile Msimang, Bukiwe Somga, Vuyolwethu Ndlakuse, Aletta Ngangani, Vuyo Nqaba, Petronella Gysman, Lindiwe Tukane and May Quntu in East London