Refer to the story, “Govt to speed up rollout of early child care centres” (The New Times, August 21).
Thumbs up for the Ministry of Education! This is good news for the early learners in rural communities. The Government of Rwanda continues its commitment to put policy into practices.
Increasing access to early childhood care facilities is elaborated in the Rwanda early childhood development policy (2011) and the subsequent strategy developed thereafter in which a community-based and integrated approach to childhood education and development are emphasised.
I must say that while access to early childhood education is critical to Rwanda’s development, quality should not be compromised as we expand this important service to rural communities. Investment in teacher training for the early years and use of Unicef’s ECD toolkit are some of the strategies the government and its partners may use, or continue to use, to cover the quality gap.
Equally an inter-sectoral approach that addresses maternal health, food security and nutrition, economic empowerment, quality housing…is required if our children are to develop holistically.
Last but not least, the early childhood care centres should be capable of addressing the needs of children with physical disabilities and special learning needs.
Daoud, Central African Republic