Education, literacy and focused early-learning opportunities for children are three of the major challenges facing South Africa as the country celebrates its 20th year of democracy.
As part of this anniversary celebration Standard Bank Group has donated five 'Edutainers'. Four were delivered to Early Childhood Development (ECD) sites in the Eastern Cape, to be used as mobile classrooms at Khulisani Day Care Centre in Reeston, near East London, Masifunde Day Care Centre in Diphini Location in Mooiplaas, Monde Day Care Centre in Nxarhuni, and Nowaka ECD Centre in AmaJingqi, near Willowvale. The fifth was donated to a Three2Six School in Gauteng.
"Pre-school education is vital in ensuring that children receive a proper foundation for their future development. When it is considered that only 15% of all South African children between 0-4 years of age are in formal registered ECD centres, and that approximately 870 000 children aged 0-5 live in informal settlements across the country, the need for interventions such as the Edutainer programme are obvious," says Standard Bank Group Head of Marketing and Communication Nikki Twomey.
The Edutainer is an 'instant classroom' made from a 12 meter (40 foot) shipping container, ideal for pre-school classrooms, taking up to 25 children.
The donation of the Edutainers not only celebrates 20 years of democracy for South Africa, but is an integral part of the Standard Bank Group Foundation CSI unit and Group marketing initiative focused on projects aimed at enhancing educational outcomes.
Bright Kid Foundation, a South African non-profit organisation that specialises in transforming containers into bright, airy, safe, and exciting classrooms, delivered the latest Standard Bank 'Edutainers', assisted by Itec, who provided training in ECD to the centres.
"The Edutainer drive is part of the bank's ongoing commitment to South Africa's education - a contribution that reached about 120 000 learners across the country", says Twomey.
The colourful, child-friendly pre-school 'Edutainer' classrooms can accommodate between 20 and 25 pre-school students in each unit, providing a safe and suitable venue for learning.
Through conversions that turn the containers into bright, airy classrooms, the children are given learning opportunities in a conducive environment that is a far call from those available in informal settlements.
"As Africa's largest bank by assets, the Standard Bank Group believes that investment in education is one of the best ways to secure South Africa's economic future. The creation of these much-needed learning facilities in areas like the Eastern Cape are an expression of our commitment to the development of future talent in South Africa," concludes Twomey.
For more on Standard Bank Group's work in communities, see www.standardbank.com/sustainability.
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