Call for more ECD teachers

empty classroom

GOVERNMENT should prioritise the construction of school infrastructure and recruitment of teachers for early childhood development (ECD), Senators said on Tuesday.

Moving a motion on the construction of school infrastructure and recruitment of ECD teachers, Zanu PF Senator for Manicaland province Dorothy Mabika said the sector was facing challenges of inadequate funding, shortage of classrooms, information communication technology equipment, teachers and reading materials.

The motion was seconded by Zanu PF Senator for Mashonaland Central, Eleven Kambizi.

“The architecture of our education system is a 2-7-4-2-structure, meaning two years of ECD, seven years of primary education, four years of secondary education and two years of higher secondary education,” Mabika said.

“The 92% literacy rate that we boast of is built on this structure. However, the latest population census has shown a significant increase in population, which, therefore, points to a requirement to increase school infrastructure and all the associated resources.

“As of March 2017, the sector had 427 800 learners taught by 4 000 teachers, with 5 800 more teachers required. Only 21,6% of those aged 36 to 59 months were attending the ECD programme. It was also identified that there is need to build the capacity of existing educational officials to provide a sound grounding in ECD philosophy, approaches and methods.”

Mabika implored Finance minister Mthuli Ncube to provide adequate financial resources for ECD programmes.

“To achieve or correct all of the above, one thing is very critical — funding. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education needs to protect and emphasise its development plan to satisfy the ECD requirements,” he said.

“The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development must be encouraged to place a high priority on the development of ECD infrastructure and its associated requirements.”

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