As parents across South Africa prepare to send their kids back to school, Cotlands this week released a new ad campaign to inform the public of the urgent need for foundation phase learning for all children, particularly vulnerable children living in remote and under-resourced communities.
It is estimated that out of a group of 100 Grade 1 pupils, only 40 will reach Grade 12. Of those, 28 will pass matric and four will enter university. Of the four, only one will graduate.
Cotlands attributes these disparaging results to a lack of foundation phase learning. Children who are given opportunities to explore, discover and create at a young age are able to cope better at school resulting in better grades and a higher chance of achieving a university pass in their matric year.
Of the 585 children assessed by Cotlands nationally in February 2014 only 13% of the children were able to identify basic shapes and only 19% were able to identify the primary colours.
In light of this, Cotlands has teamed up with brand agency HKLM to raise awareness of the importance of early childhood development.
Cotlands, who offers high impact early childhood development programmes to vulnerable children found that within eight weeks of intervention children were able to identify basic shapes were able to identify four colours (blue, yellow, red and green)
With just two four-hour sessions a week children can receive the foundation they require to achieve at school, not only academically but also socially. This service costs Cotlands R25 per child per session. Each session offers vulnerable children exposure to at least eight developmental activities through a range of educational resources. The children are also provided with a nutritious meal and health and psychosocial screening and support.
The multimedia sponsor an early learning playgroup campaign is aimed at raising awareness for early childhood development, as well as raising funds for Cotlands’ early learning playgroup programmes.
“By sponsoring an early learning playgroup, companies and individuals are able to make a lasting impact on a child’s development that will ultimately determine their academic success. For us this isn’t just a public service announcement, it is a movement to eradicate poverty and ensure opportunity,” said Cotlands CEO Jackie Schoeman.
This campaign will be launched on street poles, billboards, online, in print and on TV. In addition, Cotlands has launched a new Facebook page to track the progress of the campaign and its early learning playgroups.
“Through our structured four hour, twice a week early learning programme that targets the essential areas of development, children are able to gain an understanding of themselves, of others, as well as the world around them. This non-centre based approach takes into consideration the unique South African landscape and delivers an effective method of teaching that prepares children for life-long learning, in the classroom and beyond,” added Schoeman.
This campaign would not have been possible without the support of HKLM and Kinetic, who, pro-bono, have worked tirelessly to bring all the elements together. Cotlands extends its sincere thanks to all who worked on this campaign and especially to HKLM and Kinetic for their generosity.