Published byAnnette Gerritsen
Published on30 June 2017
The two-year Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Intervention (MECI) was one of the first hybrid learning programmes to be introduced at the University of Pretoria in 2001. It is the only programme of its kind on the African continent and was developed to address issues of service delivery for infants and children (0 to 6 years) with disability and those at risk of developmental delay. The programme is an outcome of a collaborative process involving disability stakeholders, government departments and various departments from the University of Pretoria (Faculties of Health Sciences, Humanities and Education). It is strongly rooted in the South African/African context and addresses the influence of issues such as poverty, violence, abuse, chronic disease and discrimination on child development. The students, all of them health-care professionals, are situated in every part of the country, rural and urban, as well as throughout the continent.
How the programme is delivered
Students meet twice a year for week-long contact sessions at the main campus of the University of Pretoria, but the bulk of the academic work is completed asynchronously (not bound to a specific time) in discussion forums on the University’s online learning management system (LMS). Students are required to undertake collaborative work and are assigned to multi-disciplinary teams.