Lüderitz-The ground-breaking ceremony for the Early Childhood Development Centre (ECD) which is a venture between Lüderitz Town Council and Anglo American Foundation was held last Friday at Corsira, Area 7 informal settlement in Lüderitz.
At the ceremony, Lüderitz Mayor Hilaria Mukapuli applauded the efforts made by the Lüderitz Town Council in agreeing to the request of Anglo American Namibia Foundation (AANF) to provide land for the construction of the ECD at Corsira, Area 7 informal settlement.
Mukapuli said ECDs as the foundation phase in the education value chain have been found to deliver lasting benefits to children, particularly the poor and disadvantaged.
She said research showed that children with sufficient exposure to ECDs have better achievement levels and thinking abilities, and that the return on investment in ECD programmes can far exceed that of economic development projects, hence their involvement in this project.
“We believe that an educated society will stimulate the economy of our town because there is always a guarantee on return of investment whenever proper investment is made for educational purposes,” said Mukapuli.
She said it is her belief that with the construction of the ECD centre in Area 7, the undesirably lower level of enrolment and access to pre-primary schooling in the area would improve.
Mukapuli said the ECD centre is for the community of Lüderitz and must benefit and at the same time be accessible to children of Lüderitz, but she trusted the concentration of intakes would be from Area 7 and Amilema informal settlements.
AANF coordinator Richard Cook said that since being founded over nine years ago, the AANF consistently recognises education’s immense importance and relevance to societal aims.
“We therefore draw on most of our corporate social investment resources as part of our efforts to back champions in ECD development,” said Cook.
He said that more than half of the budget goes to initiatives to improve the standard of ECD facilities in the //Kharas region and development of such infrastructure. Cook said AANF plans to build one ECD centre in every town especially in //Kharas region. He said the AANF already built ECDs in Grünau, Maltahöohe and Bethanie and they are currently busy building an ECD centre each at Lüderitz and Ariamsvlei.
An ECD costs N$700,000 and will have classrooms, an office, and toilets for staff and learners.