MZANSI education is in a crisis, but the crisis is worse in underdeveloped communities.

To counter the high rate of drop outs and failure, education needs to start when children are young. This is why, over the next two years, 21 early childhood developement schools will open in townships in Gauteng and the Western Cape.

The programme is made possible by a partnership between MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet and Grow with Educare Centres.

Grow with Educare Centre’s unique model seeks to tackle the education crisis with multiple solutions. The organisation is establishing a successful chain of early childhood education centres in struggling communities.

The centres are managed by capable principals and the pupils are taught by qualified teachers.

The project seeks to upgrade under-resourced pre-school centres in Gauteng and Cape Town as part of the Grow brand.

Upgrades include making facilities meet mandatory early childhood development standards, leadership, business and education training, educational training for child caregivers, providing educational resources and a healthy nutrition programme, as well as monitoring and mentoring.

Tracey Chambers, CEO of Grow, said: “We empower women who work for us so they can move from a place of dependence to a place of dignity.”

Pieter Twine, general manager of MySchool, said: “The centres will be measured by the Measuring Early Learning Quality Outcomes system which evaluates its pupils’ progress on a set of international development benchmarks.

“MySchool welcomes the partnership with Grow. We plan to get all the new centres up and running this year and the next.

“It’s a project that brings education and childcare, employment, entrepreneurship and sustainable community development together.”