Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Dr Jean Kalilani has hinted that the county has made tremendous progress in service delivery on Early Childhood Development (ECD) program since 2008 and promised that government will develop deliberate strategies aimed at increasing accessibility to ECD services in the country.
She made the remarks in Lunzu, Blantyre on Monday during the launch of ECD awareness week.
“Since the introduction of the ECD week in 2008; tremendous progress has been made in service delivery. I would like to state that 11,600 centers are in existence and 1.6 million children across the nation have access to ECD services.
“This indicates an increase of 45.3 % from 30%. Let me add that 29% of the children who have benefitted from the increase are those with disabilities and vulnerable,” said Kalirani.
Despite the progress, Kalirani said ECD centres in the country are community based in nature and face many challenges in service delivery.
“Caregivers also face many challenges that affect their work. Malawi has 35, 000 caregivers and half of them are not trained and financially enumerated; they work using inadequate play materials and in poor structures among other problems,” said the minister.
To overcome these challenges and to ensure the success and sustainability of ECD, Kalirani said there is need for the participation of all sectors in society.
“I would like to call upon the private sector, civil society, traditional leaders, religious leaders, parents and local volunteers to all work together to support Governments efforts to improve ECD services,” she said.
On the ECD week, the minister said Its inclusivemess will help to empower the community through community visits.
” I am very confident that if all of us actively participate in ECD, Malawi will be able to reach all its children with quality and equitable ECD services,” she said.
This year’s ECD week launch was celebrated under the theme: ‘Accelerate accessible, quality and equitable ECD services for all children in Malawi.’
Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security who is also Member of Parliament for Blantyre North East, Cecilia Chazama, hailed government for showing commitment towards ECD services.
Chazama said since the programme started, a number of things have changed considering that children attending ECD education perform wonders when they are introduced into primary school.
“Early child education has assisted a lot of children who are now able to do things with speed and on top of that, it is inclusive, whereby every child has access to education,” Chazama added.
Kalirani also visited Mphatso Community Based Child Care Centre at Ngumbe in the area of Senior Chief Kapeni.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :