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The draft policy on minimum requirements for programmes leading to qualifications in Higher Education in Early Childhood Care and Education (birth to 4) for Educators and Practitioners is a concern.
It is stated that the policy has been developed in consultation with key role players in the field. The question is, who was seen as the ‘key role players?’ In this policy is inaccurate information, e.g. that the National N Diploma: Educare has been phased out ant that the last examination took place in November 2014. It is a concern that inaccurate information is captured in a policy document. This qualification is currently still being offered by TVET colleges and the next exams will be in June 2016.
The articulation for candidates with SAQA qualifications is not clear. Many people have successfully completed this qualification and currently 1, 000’s of students are still busy with this qualification. What is the role of TVET college’s in the articulation. The new Level 4 QTCO ECD qualification is not even mentioned in this document. This document is exclusive – many ECD practitioners are being excluded although reference is made to ‘life long learning’.
There are being said that a Degree in Early Childhood Care will be implemented in 2019. The current bachelor degree in foundation phase will qualify a student better and provide more job opportunities. With the planned degree students will not be able to work at schools and the majority of jobs are in the informal section. Currently the salaries in this field varies start with an amount as low as R, 500. With the current degree a student can receive a salary of R15, 000.
I only touched on a few issues and it will be interesting to hear other people’s view on this draft policy.