An 83-year-old man in Bukedea District has donated land towards the construction of an Early Child Development Centre (ECDC) to promote education.
Mr Wilson Angura Okello, a retired magistrate and a resident of Arapai Village in Koena Sub-county, told Daily Monitor in an interview on Monday that it was “a dream come true” since he always wanted to contribute to society’s development.
Mr Okello said he was inspired by Wilson Epaku, the former sub-county chief, and Cuthbert Obwangor, a former member of the colonial government, who donated land for institutional development.
“Had the request come when I had a lot of land- now occupied by my children, grandchildren, I should have offered more than two acres. It is my request that the locals emulate this,” he said.
The Institute of Rural Education and Development (IREAD) based in Germany in collaboration with Rotary Club Uganda plan to construct the $70,000 (Shs262m) centre to nurture the education of the underprivileged rural children.
Mr Moses Olemukan, the Bukedea District chairperson, hailed Mr Okello for his support.
“Mzee Okello, as we celebrate receiving this facility, your contribution will forever remain written in the minds of the people of this community, we thank you for the selfless offer,” he said.
Mr James Onyoin, the president of Rotary Club Kampala, said the rotary clubs in collaboration with Germany have established eight centres in the country.
“We are targeting children of ages ranging from 5-8 years above. The school will have baby, middle and top classes,” Mr Onyoin said.
About early childhood centres
What is Early Childhood Development?: Government launched the programme in 2016. Through it, the child can have a good start in life since it goes beyond educating the child to ensuring they get good nutrition, sanitation and socialisation skill development.
How different is ECD from nursery school education? ECD centres do not teach but develop the minds of the children. Unlike nursery school, children in ECD learn by touching and feeling objects. We do not make them sit in a classroom environment but rather try creating one that is not limited to allow them move around and explore their surroundings freely.
Centres in Uganda: We have one in Kitatya, Kayunga District, Hajee in Deku, Koboko, Mary’s Shining Stars in Padembo, Koboko, Roel in Wani, Arua District, Shamji in Gomba, and Laila and Sami in Sironko.
From interview with Dr Noor Jaffer, chairman of Institute for Rural Education and Development, a Canadian charity organisation that has created itself a niche in building Early Childhood Development Centres in rural areas.