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The primary mandate of the ECE Department is to prepare and provide foundation phase teachers of the highest quality for the school systems in the Southern African region.

The Department of Early Childhood Education (ECE) which was established in 2009, has witness both quantitative and qualitative expansion in terms of staff establishment, students enrolment and programmes on offer. Currently there are five full-time academic staff members and two part-time lecturers who are serving a student’s population which has grown from about 100 to over 600 since the inception of the Department. Further to this, the ECE Department operates a model pre-school located within the University with around 30 children under the age of 4 years and another 30 in grade R. There are two pre-school teachers who both hold degree qualifications with specialisation in early childhood education. The pre-school curriculum is under the guidance and supervision of one of the Department academic staff members.

As a unity of the University, the Department of Early Childhood Education is an active and integral part of the School of Education at the University of Venda, fulfilling a pivotal role in subject-oriented teaching, research and community engagement for the initial professional training of teachers at the Foundation Phase.

The ECE Department focuses on training educators who will teach children in Grades R to 3 by offering the four years full-time Bachelor of Education Foundation Phase Degree (BEDTEF).

The department also provides opportunities for in-service teachers to improve their qualifications and/or to re-direct their area of specialisation through the following programmes:

  • Two years part-time National Professional Diploma in Education (NPDE) which provides under-qualified teachers the opportunity to meet the entry requirements for teacher education qualification.
  • Two years part-time Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE) is available in the specialisations of Remedial Education (ADCRE) and Early Childhood Education (CECE).

In order to achieve its mandate, the ECE Department is guided by the following objectives:
1. Promote and develop learner-driven, community-based, problem-solving and outcome-based curriculum for foundation phase student teachers.
2. Create an environment conducive to the culture of learning and teaching for the achievement of the Department objectives.
3. Provide evidence-based education which is strongly supported by research activities and findings.
4. Encourage and promote research and publication among staff and students.
5. Utilise the available modern pedagogic approaches such as the use of IT and E-learning for teaching and learning, research and community engagement.
6. Increase the intake of students for the basic and post-graduate certificates, diplomas and degrees.

Summary of programmes offered
The following qualifications are offered in the ECE department:

Undergraduate Diplomas and degrees:
National Professional Diploma in Education NPDE
Bachelor of Education Foundation Phase BEDTEF

Advanced Certificates in Education
• Early Childhood Education CECE
• Remedial Education ADCRE

Introduction: The National Professional Diploma in Education (NPDE) is an interim national qualification for upgrading currently under-qualified school-based REQV 11 or 12 educators to the status of REQV 13.

The NPDE has the following main goals:
- It is designed to help teachers reflect and improve upon your classroom practice.
- It gives teachers/educators an alternative route into further professional development through the second part of a B.ED, or through an Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE) (REQV 14), and later an entry into a B.ED (Hons.) (REQV 15).
To be admitted for the NPDE, an educator should:
- Be a practicing educator in a public school
- Have a Standard 8 plus Primary Teachers’ Certificate (REQV11), or
- Have a Standard 10 plus a two year professional certificate (REQV12).
- A part completed Diploma in Education will also give you access to the qualification.
Length of the Programme
The NPDE is a 240 credit qualification. Some educators (REQV 12) will only have to do 120 credits (60 credits a year for two years). Others (REQV 11) may have to do more, depending on the results of assessment for recognition of prior learning.
REQV 12 educators will be exempted from 120 credits through credit exchange for qualifications they already have. They will therefore have to do only 120 credits of the programme. REQV 11 educators will first do 120 credits of the programme. They will then be assessed for the recognition of prior learning and experience, and may be credited with up to 120 credits.

Early Childhood (CECE)

First semester
ECD 1521 Child Development
ELS 1521 Life Skills Learning Programme
ENL 1521 Numeracy Learning Programme
ELL 1521 Literacy Learning Programme

Second Semester
ENM 1621 Managing the ECD Learning Programme
EHD 1621 Health and Nutrition in ECD
ETC 1621 Techniques for Teaching Young Children
ESR 1621 School Readiness
ETP 1621 Teaching Practice

Remedial Education (ADCRE)
First semester

ECD 4521 Child Development
BER 4521 Basic Educational Research
ELD 4521 Learners with Learning Difficulties
Second Semester
ECD 4621 Child Development
BER 4621 Basic Educational Research
ELD 4621 Learners with Learning Difficulties
First Semester

EPC 4521 Parental Consultation
EAV 4521 Assessment and Evaluation

Second Semester
HIV 4611 HIV and AIDS Education
ETS 4621 Teaching and Learning Techniques


This is a comprehensive four year undergraduate degree, which carries 480 credits. The programme prepares teachers who will teach in the Foundation Phase (Grade R – 3).

The BEDTEF is a four year degree programme on full time basis.

Admission Requirements
To be admitted to the degree:
- The minimum admission requirement is a National Senior Certificate (NSC) as certified by the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education (Umalusi) with an achievement rating of 4 (adequate achievement, 50-59 %) or better in four subjects. In addition, applicants must have a minimum point score of 30. A grade 12 certificate with exemption is required if grade 12 has been achieved before 2008.
- Students should have successfully completed Humanities, Management Sciences and Law Foundation. This a bridging programme for students who failed to obtain metric/grade 12 exemption.

Composition of the Curriculum
Semester 1

IEH 1521 History of Education
EHD 1521 Psychology of Education
ECS 1541 English Communication Skills
EDH 1521 The Reception Year
ELF 1521 Life Skills Learning Programme

Semester 2
SFE 1621 Sociology of Education
EPH 1621 Philosophy of Education
ELL 1621 Literacy Learning Programme
EML 1621 Numeracy Learning Programme
ECS 1642 English Communication Skills

Semester 1

SOE 2521 Sociology of Education
Prerequisites SFE 1621
PHE 2521 Philosophy of Education
Prerequisites EPH 1621
ELF 2521 Life Skills Learning Programme
Prerequisites ELF 1521
ENM 2521 Numeracy Learning Programme
Prerequisites EML 1621
ETL 2521 Preparation for Teaching Practice- Observation
Semester 2
ECT 2621 Psychology of Education
Prerequisites EHD1521
HDC 2621 History of Education
Prerequisites IEH1521
ELL 2621 Literacy learning Programme
EDA 2621 Administration and Management
ETL 2621 Preparation for Teaching Practice- Observation

Semester 1

EHC 3521 History of Education
Prerequisites HDC 2621
ESP 3521 Sociology of Education
Prerequisites SOE 2521
ELF 3521 Life Skills Learning Programme
Prerequisites ELF2521
ENB 3521 Numeracy Learning Programme
Prerequisites ENM 2521
ELB 3521 Children with Learning Barriers
ETL 3521 Preparation for Teaching Practice- Observation
Semester 2
ETE 3621 Psychology of Education
Prerequisites ECT 2621
EMT 3621 Philosophy of Education
Prerequisites PHE 2521
ELL 3621 Literacy Learning Programme
ELD 3621 Children with Learning Barriers
ETL 3621 Preparation for Teaching Practice-Observation
PSC 3621 Computer Literacy


Semester 1
HIV 4521 HIV/ AIDS Education
EAT 4521 Art for Young Children
EDL 4521 Curriculum Development
PSG 4521 School Management
ETP 4521 Teaching Practice

Semester 2
All second semester modules are completed through portfolios

HIV 4621 HIV /AIDS Education
PSG 4621 School Management
EDL 4621 Curriculum Development
EMU 4621 Music for Young Children
ETP 4621 Teaching Practice


Dr MP Mulaudzi (See Dean’s profile)

Dr T. Runhare

Journal publications

  • Dzimiri, P & Runhare, T. (2012). The human security implications of operation restore order on urban habitation in Zimbabwe. Journal of Human Ecology, 38 (3), 191-205.
  • Runhare, T & Mulaudzi, P. (2012) Education for a rainbow nation: The infant playground as a model for reconstructing social cohesion in post-xenophobic South African communities. Journal of Social Sciences, 32(2), 193-204.
  • Runhare, T. (2012). Book Review: Contemporary issues in education studies: Young people, popular culture and education, by Chris Richards, London, Continuum, 2011, xii +183 pp. (paperback), Gender and Education, 24(3), 354 – 356.
  • Runhare, T. & Vandeyar, S. (2012). Perceptions of policy duty bearers to the inclusive education policy for pregnant teenagers in South Africa. Journal of Social Sciences, 31(1), 51-62.
  • Mulaudzi, P. & Runhare, T. (2011). Exploring socio-cultural variables to social justice in education: South African educators’ conceptualisation of a multicultural educational setting. Journal of Educational Studies. Special Issue Social Justice 2011, 153 – 169.
  • Runhare, T. & Vandeyar, S. (2011) Loss of learning space within a legally inclusive education system: Institutional responsiveness to mainstreaming of pregnant learners in formal education. Gender & Behaviour, 9(2), 4100 – 4124.
  • Runhare, T. & Hwami, M. (2009). The ideological role of education in the clash between national-state conservatism and globalization. The case of Zimbabwe. Journal of Educational Studies, 8 (1), 92 – 114.
  • Runhare, T. (2004). Provision of equal education for students with disabilities at tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe: Prospects and barriers. Journal of Social Development in Africa, 19 (1), 151 – 163.
  • Runhare, T. (2004) Book Review: Participation and Power. Critical Arts: A Journal of cultural and Media Studies, 18 (1), 170 – 173.
  • Runhare, T. (2003). Women perceptions of ‘masculine’ technical carriers: A comparative study of women in ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ employment occupations in the city of Gweru, Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research, 15 (3), 133 – 149.

Book publications

  • Runhare, T. (2013). Educational change: Theoretical reflections on educational re-transformation in Zimbabwe. In Shizha E (Ed) Restoring the dream: Rethinking Educational Transformation in Zimbabwe. London: Adonis and Abbey Publishers, p.79 – 97.
  • Runhare, T (2010). Aligning espoused theories-of-action to theories-in-use for attainment of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of a gender responsive human resource capacity building through education: The case of democratic South Africa. In Pop, G. (Ed.) Research, Education, Development, Targu Mures: Risoprint.
  • Runhare, T. and Gordon R. (2004). The comprehensive review of gender issues in the education Sector. Harare: UNICEF. Accessible on:

Dr N.P. Mudzielwana

Journal publications

  • Mudzielwana NP. (2013). Research-based teaching comprehension strategies: Bridging the gap. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 4(2), 317-327.
  • Mudzielwana NP, Joubert I, Phatudi NC, Hartell CG. (2012). Teaching reading comprehension to Grade 3Tshivenda- speaking learners. Journal of Educational Studies, 11(1), 67-85.
  • Mudzielwana NP. (2011). Causal factors of low reading standards in the Foundation Phase in South Africa. Journal of Research in Education and Society, 2(1), 208-214.
  • Mudzielwana NP (2012). The development of literacy at preschools. Saarbrucken: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.

The following is a list of staff members in the Department of Early Childhood Education

Designation Name Contacts
Senior Lecturer and Dean of School of Education

Dr MP Mulaudzi
Teaching areas:
Psychology of Education; Guidance and Counselling.
Research interests:
Counselling psychology; Teaching and learning in inclusive classroom settings

Tel: +2715 962502
Fax: +2715 962 8050
Senior Lecturer and Head of Department

Dr T Runhare
Teaching areas:
Sociology of Education;
Education Policy Studies.
Research interests:
Equity issues in education; Child/human rights in education;
Education policy implementation and evaluation.

Tel: +2715 9628412
Fax: +2715 962 8050

Dr NP Mudzielwana
Teaching areas:
Literacy, Psychology of Education; Early Childhood Education.
Research interests:
Interventions to Reading and comprehension; Language and learning difficulties.

Tel: +2715 9628385
Fax: +2715 962 8050

Mrs NO Mulaudzi
Teaching areas:
Mathematics Education;
Art Education; Music Education.
Research interests:
Early Childhood; Mathematics for young children.

Tel: +2715 9628744
Fax: Fax: +2715 962 8050

Ms H. Cassim
Teaching areas:
Life Skills; Barriers to education; Psychology of Education.
Research interests:
Inclusive Education.

Tel: +2715 9628485
Fax: +2715 962 8050
Pre-school educator Mrs R. Mokwena
Teaching area
Early Childhood Education.
Tel: +2715 962 8046
Fax: +2715 962 8050
Pre-school educator

Ms E. Thovhakale
Teaching area
Early Childhood Education.

Tel: +2715 962 8046
Fax: +2715 962 8050