By William J. Mbangula
The Directorate of Education will take over nine early childhood development (ECD) centres in Oshana as part of new systematic arrangements.
The responsibility of early childhood development is with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, but now an arrangement has been put in place through the Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme (ETSIP) for such mandate to be taken over by the Ministry of Education.
The regional counsellor of schools Esther Sakaria said this when she delivered a speech on behalf the Director of Education Dutte Shinyemba at the handing over of grants worth N$150 000 to 20 ECD centres in Oshana.
The event took place on Thursday, December 13 at Ongwediva Women’s Centre.
Said Sakaria: “Experience has proved that one can never stress enough how crucial early childhood development is in education. It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the majority of children who were fortunate enough to have a good early childhood education had also managed to complete other phases of education without problems.
“This indeed is the phase where the foundation of learning is laid. By implication, this would mean that if the educational foundation of a child is insecure, then that child is doomed to complete his education with difficulties, if not completely drop out halfway.”
The Chief Liaison Officer in the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Kornelia Shilunga said 167 centres have been funded by her ministry since the year 2000.
The 20 centres that benefited recently are part of the broader plan to help many of them with building materials and other means of infrastructural development.
Each centre will be allocated N$7 466.5 as well as cement bags, poles, bricks, door frames, outdoor diamond mesh, window frames, glass, steel wires, corrugated iron, binding wires, cylinder locks, roofing joints and farm gates which in total will cost close to N$150 000.
The centres that are to benefit are Onheleiwa, Neshuku, Oshitowa, Shombandje, Namakakala, Onepungu, Otuwala, Olukango, Omayanga, Nekomba, Onakapya, Eheke, Nekongo, Namene,Othithiya yaAshitenda, Oidiva, Omasheshete, Omapandaanda, Omuthiya and Onanguwo.
Shilunga noted: “As a community and stakeholders, we need to work together in the best interest of every child. I therefore call upon the Namibian society to strive hard for a winning battle because the future prosperity of any nation, be it in standard of education, political stability or economic growth rests in the hands of its children as tomorrow’s leaders.”
The event was officially opened by the Governor of Oshana Clemens Kashuupulwa who is also the chairman of the ECD Committee. The governor urged all the beneficiaries to utilize the resources for the development of the centres to their fullest potential.
“I would like also to call upon our development partners in the private sector to come forward and emulate the exemplary role played by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare by making financial contributions and otherwise to the development of our children.”