Many ECD centres in shambles: UN Report

06 Jun 2017 12:30pm
WINDHOEK, 06 JUN (NAMPA) – Many Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres lack water, toilets and kitchens, according to a Needs Assessment Report launched by First Lady Monica Geingos at the Masida ECD Centre in the Zambezi Region on Monday.
The University of Namibia (UNAM) conducted the research at 32 ECD centres in eight regions.
The study that was funded by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, says the lack of such infrastructure poses a risk to delivering services.
“The lack of running water, in particular, affects the entire operation of ECD centres in terms of health, hygiene and sanitation,” the report availed to Nampa indicates.
Research found that most ECD buildings were poorly constructed and do not meet requirements such as sufficient and safe gross motor play space.
More than 90 per cent of the assessed ECD centres do not provide food for the children, while only a few are sent with food from home.
The report notes that out of the 32 assessed caregivers, only 13 attended the seven-week ECD Basic Course, which raises concerns about the capacity of caregivers expected to facilitate the required development outcome.
Most caregivers had neither an ECD Policy nor an ECD curriculum in their possession.
On the positive side, the assessed centres use numerous mother tongues as means of communication.
“This was considered a positive indication, given that the use of mother tongues is important in developing a child’s cognitive capabilities and assisting them to easily acquire a second language,” reads the report.
Speaking at the launch at the Linyanti Constituency, Geingos said the foundations have been laid for ECD in Namibia.
“However, as we strive towards our collective goal of providing integrated early childhood development services, it is imperative that we understand the existing conditions at ECD centres across countries,” she said.