Early childhood education, good foundation for education

A call has gone out to parents and guardians in the country to promote early childhood education among their children to reduce school dropouts.

OSSEDI Malawi board chairperson Chrissie Mbundungu

Derick Kumwenda, Lilongwe District Social welfare officer made these sentiments during a commemoration of African Day of a Child at Traditional Authority Kabudula in Lilongwe sighting that early childhood education provides commitment spirit and good foundation for education among children. Above all, it has also been discovered that child neglect, child poverty as well as child marriages are some of the problems that are leading to this cause of early school dropout.

As to mitigate some of the challenges a non-governmental organization called Organization for Sustainable Social-Economic Development Initiative (OSSEDI) implemented a project which is targeting at providing primary school children in the area with school equipments including exercise books, school uniforms as well as looking at infrastructure development in primary school in rural areas.

OSSEDI Malawi board chairperson Chrissie Mbundungu says the initiative is to complement with government efforts towards improving education standards.

“We thought of spearheading this project inorder to increase access to good education as many young learners were finding it difficult to reach out to school because of long distance but as now the project is progress we are seeing a dramatic change as to schools within the area are taking good shape. Above all, there was no motivation among learners but with the coming in of this project, learners are receiving school equipments and are really get motivated,” she said.

In his remarks chairperson for Lilongwe District Council, Dominic Banda says as a council they reaffirm their commitment in ensuring that education is accessible and inclusive for all.

“We are committed in providing safer learning environment as theme for this year is a call to action towards quality education. Our deepest gratitude to the implementing partners, OSSEDI Malawi and funders, they are doing a great job, we are behind supporting them in any way they need as a council,” Banda highlighted.

OSSEDI Malawi is implementing the project for a period of three years through funding from international organization called Child Fund Korea.

Through the initiative it is expected to build fifteen to twenty modern school blocks in primary schools around Traditional Authority Kabudula.

Statistics indicates that in the country about 30 percent of children under the age of 6 to 17 are engaged into child marriages with close to 1,200 teenage pregnancies as well as registering over 1,500 cases of school dropouts annually.

Across Africa, African Day of a Child is commemorated on 16th June annually, but this year Malawi has commemorated this day on 22nd June, 2024 under the theme; Education for all children in Africa, the time is now.

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