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Early Childhood Development: How an Active Involvement of Political Leadership Enhanced its Success Presentation: Cllr. Agnes Kafula, Deputy Mayor of the.

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Presentation on theme: "Early Childhood Development: How an Active Involvement of Political Leadership Enhanced its Success Presentation: Cllr. Agnes Kafula, Deputy Mayor of the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Early Childhood Development: How an Active Involvement of Political Leadership Enhanced its Success Presentation: Cllr. Agnes Kafula, Deputy Mayor of the City of Windhoek, At AFLRA North-South Cooperation Conference, Nov 2009 Mwanza, Tanzania

2 Introduction Facts Namibia has a population of about 2 million people. 42% of the population is below the age of 15 years and 24% under the age of 8 years. The current life expectancy is 61 years of age. Namibia is considered as a middle-income country with an average per capita N$1 400 per month. Windhoek is the political and economic capital. Windhoek population is about thousand. Arid climate- limited water supply.

3 The Republic of Namibia

4 General Overview of Early Childhood Development (ECD) Traditionally African societies are rooted in the family: recognizing both nuclear and extended family structures. Affection, care and security during the early years is important for positive growth and development. S ense of belonging ◦ visits to relatives and undergoing family rituals. ◦ taking part in family festivities. ◦ integration of the child into the tribe is the basic aspects of an African early childhood education. Rapid growth and development of humans takes place during early childhood stage- deprivation thereof may have negative lasting effects on children.

5 Benefits of ECD Quality early childhood education and care programs have many positive influences to societies: Better educational achievement for children if the foundations of learning have been well laid. Vital for intellectual, emotional and social growth. Increased labour market volume and flexibility. Increased productivity and tax receipts. Increased social welfare, social cohesion and community development. Enhanced equity and integration in a diverse society.

6 ECD Policy Framework In Namibia Namibia ratified a number of conventions and treaties dealing with the rights and promotion of the well-being of children and their families. ◦ UN Convention on the Rights of the Child ◦ World Declaration on Education For All ◦ UN Millennium Development Goals Government passed laws policies, plans and programmes that impacts on ECD: Constitution Vision ‘our future as a Nation depends on the good early up-bringing of our children’ National Development Plans Decentralization enabling Act- WHK first LA to set up an active ECD program

7 Role of LA Political Leadership LAs are established in terms of a LA Act Local political leadership is the level of governance closer to the people. Nation building depends on the type up of bringing we give to our children (CATCH THEM YOUNG)- its success depends on the quality of local authority leaders of today Children’s early development is a stage that guides a nation to a prosperous future and its destiny- this requires active involvement of LA leaders If politicians understand the pivotal importance of early childhood development, they will indeed support this sector by investing in the social capital of society.

8 Practical Intervention by Council As Councillors we deliberately intervened to promote ECD: Adoption of the ECD Policy ◦ Goals:  Advocate importance ECD  Capacitate families  Building capacities of day care staff  Initiate & promote partnership with stakeholders  Facilitate provision of land and infrastructure  Raise awareness on children's Rights and other aspects of a child development Incorporated ECD component in our cooperation with the City of Vantaa Mobilize stakeholders to support for EDC initiatives

9 ECD Statistics in Windhoek 186 registered Day Care Centres- mainly run privately. Total of 466 caregivers Approximately 7200 children aged 3mths -6 years are enrolled in registered day care centres

10 ECD Programmes of City of Windhoek Curriculum Development Research Advocacy Stakeholder Involvent Training

11 Key areas of engagement Register ECD centers and provide short courses. Participate in curriculum development. Involve stakeholders and initiate ECD partnerships. Research and cooperate with development partners to tap in best practices. Advocate and awareness raising. Develop infrastructures for ECD.

12 Training Organizing professional training is the most effective way to increase the quality of early childhood education and care. Facilitate evaluation and assessment of ECD programs.

13 Curriculum School readiness CATCH THEM YOUNG Initiatives Solid Waste Management Emergency Services Road Safety Environmental awareness

14 Infrastructure Rocky Crest Multi-purpose Centre A model day-care centre Accommodate 150 children A parental & caregiver information point ECD specific resource materials Training facilities Community Hall for public events

15 Infrastructure This facility is situated in informal settlement area Day-Care Centre Training centre Flats for students /teachers Place for student practicum periods

16 Research ‘We are a learning organization-desire to innovate’ Regular needs assessment Community meetings to establish needs Policy development Study and benchmarking visits to partner cities; Learning materials & curriculum Development

17 Stakeholder Involvement Broad-based stakeholders involvement ; include care givers, parents, the business community, Government, community leaders, etc

18 Challenges HIV and AIDS Unemployment and underemployment. Rapid urban population growth. Lack of relevant skills. Lack of adequate resources. High child to staff ratio.

19 Conclusion Community participation and a strong political will are catalysts for the betterment of children’s lives and securing their future.

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