07 Sep 2019 10:50am
WINDHOEK, 07 SEP (NAMPA) A national campaign aimed at creating awareness of the importance of focusing on childrens early years both at home and at early childhood development (ECD) centres, was launched in Windhoek on Thursday.
The campaign is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and Ministry of Health and Social Services; the European Union (EU), Interteam and the United Nations Childrens Fund (Unicef).
It seeks to elevate the status of ECD and demystify the concept by creating awareness of its importance in childrens early years. The campaign will run for nine months and target stakeholders with tailor-made messages distributed through mass media, social media and regional outreaches.
Speaking during the launch, Head of Cooperation for the Delegation of the EU to Namibia, Achim Schaffert said investing in early childhood development is investing in the long term wellbeing of a nation.
Unicef Country Representative to Namibia, Rachel Odede also spoke during the event.
The joint efforts of the ministries in coordinating this campaign is testimony to a move towards an integrated approach to early childhood development, she said.
Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Anna Nghipondoka said quality ECD is the greatest gift that can be given to a child.
A child who has benefited from well-integrated ECD will perform better in school as their early brain development will lay the foundations for improved literacy and numeracy skills, optimise their imaginative problem solving and enhance their language development, she said.
A child-centred television series developed with the support of Unicef and the EU will be aired on NBC as part of the campaign.
Namibia has been increasingly prioritising ECD at a national level with the implementation of an integrated early childhood development (IECD) framework in 2017.