By Tione Andsen
World Vision Malawi (WVM) has said Early Childhood Development (ECD) requires the services of specialized personnel in order to consolidate its meaningful delivery.
WVM Associate Director for Advocacy, Communication and Justice for Children, Charles Gwengwe told the Media Friday during a tour of Mtengowambalame Community Based Childcare Centre (CBCC) at Kakhuta Primary school in Ntchisi as part of the Early Childhood Development ECD) commemoration week.
He said WVM appreciates that government embraced community care model in implementing ECD but should not have been a permanent solution.
Gwengwe observed that ECD services are specialized services that require special people because it is beyond education and it involves the developmental domains of children be it physical, emotional and psychological.
“We cannot continue relying on volunteers to can on with the services but we need trained people. We need to discourage this use of volunteers on services which required specialized personnel,” the Associate Director lamented.
He pointed out that there was need for serious education reforms in order to training people to obtain degrees and masters in EDC like the rest of the world are doing.
Gwengwe said the reforms should bring noticeable changes that would eliminate issues of filters that have hampered the education sector in the country.
“To be realistic we need to reform to the serious the education system and look at kids from zero to higher level. You have noticed that we have more children at EDC level but very few at standard Eight and secondary level due to filters that are within our education system which need to be removed completely. We need to do away with filters naturally,” the Director stated.
He said there is need to look at the issue holistically on how to reduce filters in all levels of our education system and come up with an approach which could help to minimize them.
Gwengwe e said the Ministry set aside the week for advocacy campaign to profiling the work of ECD and
The Official added that WVM believes EDC services play a very vital role in upgrading the education standards in the country.
He said the approach his organization has taken is to view the education from broader perspective starting from 0 to whatever ranger.
“What we have embrace as an organization is not only to invest in infrastructure but provide capacity building to caregivers and raising awareness among communities so that we can probably have a model to which we can share with other stakeholders and government in raising the ECD standards” Gwengwe stated.
He told reporters that, “What you have seen is what I could consider a model ECD close to a primary school which is rendering appropriate stuff that is supposed to be an EDC centre. We are hoping that when time for transition to primary, the delivery of stuff should be appropriate to primary level in making the children getting prepared for primary education.”
Caregiver for Mtengowambalame CBCC, Finess Nkhunda said the enrolment has increase since the introduction of the centre but their main challenge is playing materials for the children.
She said it was pleasing to recall that the centres started under a tree in 2002 but now it’s a building with the support of WVM.
WVM Ntchisi District Programme Manager, Harold Munthali said all the caregivers are the centre are trained in ECD services.
He pointed out his organization encourages community management of the centre which issues of providing locally made playing materials are enhanced.
Mtengowambalame CBCC has enrolment of 111 children in which 60 are boys and 51 girls.