Senators Urge Governors to Improve ECDE Centres
Senators want Governors to develop day-care policy and set aside funds to improve the state of Early Childhood Development and Education in their counties.
In a motion they unanimously passed, the lawmakers are of the opinion that counties should develop and equip day-care centers within ECDE centers and then ensure they are safe for children.
“The senate urges that the Council of Governors, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education of Education, ensure counties allocate 10 percent of their budget on ECDE towards this vulnerable group,” said nominated Senator Alice Milgo who sponsored the motion.
The Nominated senator, also the chairperson of the House Education Committee, said that counties should develop a day-care policy to incorporate the needs of children who are under the age of three years old.
Milgo stated that day-care facilities in the country are neither child-friendly nor habitable. Therefore, they need to close the gap to capture the playgroup in the new 2-6-3-3-3 curriculum that is replacing the 8-4-4 that has been in existence for around 37 years.
“The day-care centers we have do not have structured systems. They have no age-appropriate activities for the children who are taken there. Therefore, children of any age are exposed to whatever activities found there,” she said.
Nominated Senator Gertrude Musuruve said ECDE is a preparatory stage for children as they being socializing with others outside their homes, and in that regard, therefore, its facilities should be improved.
“When children are attending ECDE, the playing materials help them physically. For example, jumping the rope, throwing the ball, etc.
“It is important to develop children intellectually. This has a cost and the government must be ready to bear it. We cannot put the interests of children first when they are in class four or five. It has to start their early years. Therefore, this foundation has to be grounded,” said Gertrude.
Senator Rose Nyamunga on his part said that the government should develop the ECDE centers because they are places where children get the first contact outside their homes.
“You will be shocked by the state of classrooms if you visit most of the county schools in the villages. The ECDE is never prioritized, yet it is the beginning of education for all children,” she said.
Besides, she said that besides the bad state of infrastructure, ECDE teachers are not given emphasis.
Nandi, Senator Samson Cherargei said that county governments have been ignoring centers and teachers.
“We should not consider only issues of infrastructure. We must also look at ensuring that ECDE teachers are given the same benefits as the teachers whom the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) hires,” said senator Cherargei.
Ochillo Ayako from Migori said,” In fact, the modest sum of 10 percent to be allocated for this is because we do not have resources. I believe that more should be allocated.”
According to the Basic Education Statistical Booklet (2016) that the Ministry of Education released on early learning and basic education, we have about 110,819 learners in about 5,000 ECDE centers in the country.