Let's end suffering of our children

The mother of a young girl who was filmed being viciously grabbed by a caregiver at a creche wants action.
The mother of a young girl who was filmed being viciously grabbed by a caregiver at a creche wants action.
Image: Screengrab from original video

Our lead story today tells of the horror of child abuse.

A teacher has been captured on camera assaulting toddlers with gay abandon at a preschool in Carletonville, western Gauteng.

A couple of spine-chilling videos showing the same teacher beating up the little ones have been doing the rounds on social media lately, bringing into sharp focus the shortcomings in what passes for early childhood development in our education system.

The teacher has since been arrested.

The unbelievable levels of sadism and cruelty visited on the defenceless little souls might have left them damaged for life.

It is the kind of thing that will leave many parents out there who have to leave their children in the care of others due to work commitments shaken.

It has also put the spotlight firmly on the state of early childhood development in SA.

Early childhood development, or ECD, is a singularly crucial phase of a human being's development that sets the foundation for success or lack thereof in the child's education, research has shown. It is at this stage of life that the brain's development is largely shaped.

SA children have consistently performed badly in global literacy and numeracy surveys, largely due to the sorry state of our early childhood development regime.

The foundation for good literacy and numeracy skills is laid in ECD when proper language development and nurturing sets the child off to a good start. We doubt that the children at this particular preschool get any sound grounding.

We are afraid that could well be the norm, rather than an exception nationwide. Take a drive through any township, or suburbia, and chances are you'll find a creche or some preschool establishment of sorts almost at every third or fourth house.

Many, if not the majority, are just informally set up with children placed in the care of people with little or no training at all.

While in a news-churning society such as ours the evil teacher will soon be replaced in the headlines by some other atrocity, we urge the government to see it as a reminder to make the promise made by President Cyril Ramaphosa, to make proper early childhood development education compulsory for all children, a reality.

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