By Eric Nantchengwa
The Parliamentary Committee on Social and Community Affairs has lamented about the lack of funding towards Early Childhood Development program, frustrating its agenda in the process. According to the Committee’s chair Richard Chimwendo Banda the program requires about 4 billion Kwacha each year to realize its full potential, but it is only given 7 million kwacha a situation frustrating the efforts.
Coupled with lack of training to care givers and some motivation factors ECD, remains not too impressed and less desired. ”Caregivers require comprehensive training and motivation in the form of allowances and salaries so that they should be committed to the roles entrusted with” complained Banda.
It has also been revealed that poor infrastructure is also derailing the impact of ECDs to the extent that children are learning under the trees. Banda therefore appealed to government to pump in enough money and resources at the same time consider the working conditions of the care givers if the program is to be effective and achieve its intended purpose.
He further urged Councilors and members of parliament to embark on prioritizing ECDs so as to develop the nation from the grassroots level. Commenting on the issue, ActionAid country director Grace Malera said as a country we can never talk about development if Early Childhood Development is sidelined.
She said her organization has so far trained 16 thousand care givers out of the required 31 thousand which signify that a lot of effort need to be considered. The country has about 40% children enrolled in different centers.