Action Aid Malawi has said investments in Early Childhood Development (ECD) by government and other stakeholders in the country can reduce school dropout rates.
The statement was made by Chimwemwe Gondwe who is Action Aid Malawi Coordinator for Peri-Urban Programme .
Speaking when media toured Chinsapo CCBC in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, Gondwe said the country should prioritise ECD because this can make boys and girls to start liking school at a tender age.
“So government needs to invest in ECD. It is really worthy investing in it. All these early marriages, dropping out of school for both girls and boys can be reduced.
“If we are to invest in ECD we can deal with all these problems because children will be encouraged to go to school while very young ,” Gondwe said.
She further narrated that ECD in the country is still facing challenges and parties such as government should not relax in making sure that ECD is progressing .
Gondwe talked of problems such as caregivers who work as volunteers and lack of enough model ECD centres as some of the challenges that ECD is facing.
“There are several problems that are encountered in caregiving. One of these challenges is that all the caregivers are working as volunteers, as such they are not usually encouraged to do their work,” Gondwe said
“Model centres are also few but there are a lot of children who need access to quality comprehensive ECD centres,” she added.
Recently, responsible Minister of ECD who is the Minister of Gender, Children , Disability and Social Welfare Dr Jean Kalirani said government is commited to supporting ECD in the country.