One of the Capricorn Foundation's main focus areas is education. Accordingly, the Foundation had remained true to being a Connector of Positive Change and making a lasting impact, on Thursday, 2 December 2021 when it confirmed the support of N$ 300 000 to the Amos Meerkat Syllabus (AMS) project. The AMS project aims to equip informal pre-schools on farms and around farming communities in remote areas of Namibia with an appropriate curriculum and teaching aids with the objective of getting children aged 5 and 6 ready for Grade 1.
Due to the remoteness of areas, long distances, no teaching materials, lack of knowledge and lack of appropriate means of travel, there are a lot of pre-school children (5 and 6-year-olds) that do not have the opportunity to attend a pre-school facility to ensure that they are school ready and on par with other Grade 1 learners . This is a very focused and unique need that AMS is attending to since its commencement in 2012, reaching 5000 pre-school children every year across the country from Luderitz in the far south to Katima Mililo in the far North of Namibia.
The Christian based curriculum and training program has been put together by trained teachers to make it possible for a “teacher" (any person that can read or write English or Afrikaans) to run a small pre-school for the children on a farm or informal settlement. AMS provide the curriculum and the materials to support the curriculum, including twelve modular workbooks for each learner and stationery.
Every “teacher" who uses the AMS syllabus must attend two one-week training sessions to equip them in using the curriculum and materials provided. In addition, skilled local Monitors in each town will visit the schools that fall under their responsibility once a month to monitor the implementation of the curriculum. The farm owners, where a farm school operates, currently act as local overseers, responsible for providing a facility on the farm where the children are taught. Through partnerships with businesses, foundations, farmers, local churches, and nature conservation organisations in those areas, the organisation works to ensure that no child is left out.
“The Capricorn Foundation coordinates the Group's corporate social responsibility programmes with the focus areas of Economic Advancement, Education, Health and Vulnerability Programmes. We have a keen interest in ECD because, 90% of growth of the human brain happens between 3 and 5 years old, and development at this stage is crucial. We want to continue to work alongside organisations like the Amos Meerkat Syllabus project, to ensure that every pre-school child in Namibia can have the opportunity to be well educated and be school-ready," said Marlize Horn, Group Executive: Brand & Corporate Affairs.