The Madrasa early childhood training model is the best in Uganda, a senior ministry of Education official has said.
Dr Yusuf Nsubuga, the Director of Basic Education, said while launching the Madrasa Early Childhood Development Institute (MECDI) and its first graduation ceremony that the model was equipping children with life skills and not necessarily helping them to cram things as other nursery schools do.
The Madrasa Early Childhood Programme Uganda (MECPU) is run under the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF).
“Our children are learning to know, to do, to be and to live together. It is the best practice in early childhood development,” Dr Nsubuga said at the institute’s offices in Mengo, Kampala, last Friday where 188 pre-school teachers graduated with certificates in early childhood handling.
The special childhood skills
The graduates promised to instill a sense of integrity, hard work, compassion and fear of God, among others, in their course of nurturing the children.
Dr Nsubuga also said the early years are vital to the development and determines the child’s readiness to learn and also determine their success and as such, government was working towards an integrated early childhood development (ECD) policy that will enhance children’s health, and emotional and social well-being.
Ambassador Mahmood Ahmed, the resident representative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Uganda, pointed out that only 9.1 per cent of children who enter Primary One benefit from ECD training, a figure he said is small, since a child’s success in future depends on early foundation.
Ambassador Mahmood used occasion to express “ our gratitude to the government of Uganda for its support and particularly, Dr Chrysestom Muyingo, the minister of Primary Education, who has been singularly impressive in the area of early childhood development.”
For the last 30 years of existence, MECPU has established 150 community-based preschools benefiting more than 20,000 children. It has also supported more than 200 private and public preschools and trained more than 300 pre-school teachers.
Dr Hasib Takuba, the chairman of the Board of director MECDI said: “This launch marks a special day in our history; it will enable us to sustain the great work we have done and expand our reach in the region.” He added: “We present an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and open up new opportunities for the numerous impoverished groups in our country.”
For the last 30 years in existence, MECPU has established 150 community based preschools benefiting over 20,000 children. MECPU has also supported over 200 private and public preschools and trained over 300 preschool teachers.