AROAB – Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Deputy Minister Bernadette Jagger has urged parents in Aroab to ensure more of their children are enrolled and attend the newly constructed early child development (ECD) centre in the south- eastern town where they will receive professional care and early stimulation for their future learning and development.
She made this plea recently in a speech read on her behalf by Keetmanshoop rural constituency councillor Elias Kharugab, noting that the ECD centre was constructed by the government through funding from the European Union’s (EU) Development Fund.
“This budget support was given to improve equitable and inclusive access to early childhood development and pre-primary education (PPE) facilities and/or services, increase quality of teaching in ECDs and improve management and institutional frameworks for ECDs and PPE,” said Jagger in her speech when elaborating on the purpose of the EU funding.
The minister said ECD facilities such as the one in Aroab can be regarded as a place where children can come to be shaped, moulded and prepared for their future journey towards growth and development. “Our children as future leaders can become tomorrow’s engineers, doctors, politicians and lawyers,” she emphasised.
Referring to two teachers at the ECD, she said the community counts on them without reservation to take good care of children through using the most appropriate teaching and learning practices. “Educarers are ‘in loco parentis’ and this simply means that in the absence of children’s parents you are their parents and therefore we look up to you to produce children who will grow into responsible, young adults and trustworthy Namibian citizens,” the politician’s speech read.
Jagger highlighted some of the line ministry’s recent efforts aimed at delivering improved ECD programmes and services and mentioned, amongst others, the developed Namibian Standards for ECDs and the Integrated Early Childhood Development Framework for Action that aims to ensure the provision of early childhood development services.
She said that with the passing of the Child Care and Protection Act by Parliament, all ECD teachers will in future be compelled to first produce a police clearance certificate as a means to prevent people convicted of serious offences from working with young children.
The minister also noted that while ECD centres started with face-to-face classes, the gender equality ministry is emphasising protection measures to ensure mitigation of the coronavirus. “This includes screening of children and staff before entering the premises, stringent disinfection protocols and health and hygiene procedures,” she said.
Jagger urged all ECD stakeholders to take care of the beautiful infrastructure provided to them to ensure it will serve today’s children and even generations to come. In conclusion she expressed her utmost gratitude on behalf of the government to the European Union delegation in Namibia as well as the Anglo American Foundation, Namibia for funding the construction and renovation of ECD centres in //Kharas region.
The Aroab community ECD centre was established two years ago where it had been operating in a church building prior to the construction of the current building. It hosts 42 children with two female teachers. – firstname.lastname@example.org