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1 Scaling up early childhood development A review and analysis of Education Sector Plans in Africa CIES Conference March 22, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Scaling up early childhood development A review and analysis of Education Sector Plans in Africa CIES Conference March 22, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Scaling up early childhood development A review and analysis of Education Sector Plans in Africa CIES Conference March 22, 2009

2 2 Overview of Presentation I.Boosting ECD in the development agenda in Africa II.Current status of children and ECD in selected countries III.Analysis of Education Sector Plans: Trends and issues IV.Lessons for mainstreaming ECD within Education Sector Programs

3 3 I. Boosting ECD in the development agenda in Africa

4 4 Quality ECD improves education outcomes Better access to primary school Lower retention in primary school Improved gender equity in education Lower repetition rates Better language development Higher achievement in education

5 5 Pre-primary participation can help improve primary completion rates

6 6 …but Africa lags behind in pre-primary enrolment Developed/transition countries Latin America/Caribbean East Asia/Pacific South and West Asia Arab States Sub-Saharan Africa Regional GER is 14% vs. 40% globally Source: EFA Global Monitoring Report, 2007

7 7 Improve quality Promote school readiness oThe quality of interaction between carer and child is the single most important determinant of program success Source: EFA Global Monitoring Report, 2007 Promoting school readiness also means making schools ready for children

8 8 A holistic approach is important Young children have multiple needs for: Nurturing parenting, strong family and community support Early stimulation and developmental activities Preventive and primary health and nutrition Safety/protection Clean water, home and community environment o Combining nutrition and early stimulation has larger and longer-lasting impact childrens health and learning than either alone

9 9 Main research question To what extent do education sector plans and programs include early childhood development (ECD) as a strategy for achieving universal basic education in Africa?

10 10 A Focus on Education Sector Plans oKey policy document for the countrys entire education system oEFA FTI is a partnership between developing countries and donors to accelerate progress towards universal completion of quality primary education by 2015 oFTI supports low-income countries with a poverty reduction strategy and a sound ESP endorsed by local partners oLimitations of ESPs: oDeveloped with limited cooperation with stakeholders oInformation becomes out of date quickly oDo not tell us how funds are actually being allocated oOften disconnected from implementation on the ground

11 11 Scaling up ECD through EFA-FTI oExpanding quality ECD programs universal primary completion oBut, ECD under-resourced relative to other levels of education oSpecific ECD policies are disconnected from strategic documents like ESPs and Poverty Reduction Strategies oThus, strong ECD components in key plans and strategies will help mobilize funding to reach universal primary completion oWorld Bank Africa ECCD Initiative, supported by EPDF

12 12 II. Current status of children and ECD in selected countries

13 13 Eight target countries ( ) Guinea Liberia Mali Niger Nigeria Senegal Tanzania/Zanzibar Zambia

14 14 Population (millions) GNP ($) per capita Percent under $2/day Life expecta ncy Adult Lit. rate Guinea9.2410n/a5629 Liberia3.6120n/a45n/a Mali Niger Nigeria n/a Senegal Tanzania Zambia Source: EFA Global Monitoring Report, 2007, World Bank Data Book, 2008

15 15 Children in these countries are vulnerable In most of the 8 countries, about 1 in 10 children die before reaching their 1 st birthday. About 2 in 10 die before age five Infant mortality per 1,000 ranges from 66 (Senegal) to 133 (Liberia) Under-5 mortality per 1,000 ranges from 115 (Senegal) to 205 (Liberia), with 4 of the 8 countries clustered between 185 and 205 Between 16% (Senegal) and 50% (Niger, Zambia) of children are stunted Source: EFA Global Monitoring Report, 2009

16 16 Source: EFA Global Monitoring Report, 2009

17 17 Note: Mali and Zambia figures for pre-school are gross enrollment ratios Source: Global Education Digest, 2008

18 18 Note: Mali figures are Gross Enrollment Ratios Source: UIS

19 19 III. Analysis of Education Sector Plans: Trends and issues

20 20 Dimensions reviewed 1.Target age for ECD 2.Strategies to expand access 3.Strategies to address equity 4.Strategies to improve quality 5.Linking with other sectors 6.Local governance & community involvement

21 21 1. Target age for ECD Trends Main focus is 3- 6 years old Some attention to broader age group: younger children, 0 to 3 (Senegal, Zanzibar, Zambia) older children out of school (Niger) Issues ESPs rarely prioritize coverage of older children first Many overage children in ECD in some countries (Tanzania, Liberia, Niger, Tanzania) Need coordination with agencies responsible for under 3s

22 22 2. Strategies to expand access Trends Construction, consolidation, diversification of ECD services Delegating to communities Relying on NGOs, and faith organizations Opting for parental education Ad hoc expansion: Public, including in primary schools, mostly in cities Private, mostly in the cities Community-based, in rural areas and villages Faith-based, in both urban and villages NGO initiatives, mostly in targeted communities Parental ECD interventions, country wide

23 23 2. Strategies to expand access (continued) Issues Unclear how states recognize and support community- based and private providers (Senegal) Implications of developing preschool classes in schools (Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zanzibar) No realistic objectives to increase access of each type of service (exception Mali) Poor evidence and financial arguments to support various options

24 24 3. Strategies to address equity: vulnerable children/special groups Trends Whole strategy to increase access is considered to improve equity because of very low enrollment rates Children in rural areas are identified as underserved in all countries Groups identified: children affected by HIV/AIDS (Zanzibar), girls (Nigeria, Zanzibar), children with special needs (Senegal, Zanzibar) Issues Vulnerable often left un-defined No information or vague references to how to address needs of specific groups (Zanzibar is exception)

25 25 4. Strategies to improve quality Trends Improve facilities, including sanitary and health conditions (Guinea, Niger, Senegal, Tanzania) Prepare curricula (Zambia, Senegal) or guidelines (Tanzania) Promote new ECD models (Senegal) Producing and diffusing pedagogic materials (Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania) Support parent education (Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Zanzibar) Establish initial training programs (Mali, Niger, Zanzibar) Improve capacity of educators (all)

26 26 4. Strategies to improve quality (continued) Issues Strategies to improve quality not prioritized or costed Limited learning from successful pilots in the country Proposed activities to improve quality are often planned to reach only the existing ECD services and educators without considering scale up strategy Use of contextually appropriate methods and materials is rarely mentioned (except Mali, Nigeria) How to develop capacity of educators in rural poor areas

27 27 5. Linkages with other sectors Trends Some ESPs encourage cooperation with health, child protection, nutrition (Guinea, Senegal, Niger, Zanzibar) Increase childrens enrolment and retention in primary school. Explicit focus on transition only in Senegal Six countries have developed freestanding national integrated ECD policies, with support from UNICEF Issues MOE often focus traditional pre-primary education At the local level, integration of services is a pragmatic response to the critical needs of young children

28 28 6. Local governance & community involvement Trends Local governments and communities key actors to expand provision, especially in rural areas Often focus is on awareness campaigns rather than direct technical or financial support Issues If communities already mobilized – need other forms of support (capacity building, pay, materials) Decentralization may be a way for the state to avoid taking financial responsibility for ECD provision Need to build capacity to provide services and monitor quality

29 29 IV. Lessons for mainstreaming ECD within Education Sector Programs

30 30 Lessons for mainstreaming ECD 1. Build institutional capacity for ECD strategic planning 2. Ensure local voices, needs, experiences, and innovations inform ESP build ownership for implementation 3. Focus on results for access, equity and quality 4. Identify specific milestones, realistic targets, indicators, outcomes and a framework for monitoring/evaluation 5. Improve cost analysis and financing plan 6. Prioritize implementation (phasing) 7. Strengthen linkages across strategic documents and processes (PRSPs, EFA FTI plans, ECD Policies)

31 31 For more information… Michelle J. Neuman, Ph.D. Aigly Zafeirakou, Ph.D. Amy Quinn

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