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4000 children to benefit from a free early education program

By Benedict Okethwengu

Added 26th February 2019 12:00 AM

The programme is in line with the government’s policy and is fully behind such interventions because poor learning starts at the nursery school level

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Officials during the launch of the CLAC project in Nebbi. Photo by Benedict Okethwengu

The programme is in line with the government’s policy and is fully behind such interventions because poor learning starts at the nursery school level

Over 4000 children aged 3-6 years are to benefit from a free early childhood education programme in Northern Uganda.

The programming code-named Community Led Action for Children (CLAC) is targeting children in the districts of Alebtong, Nebbi, and Lira district. It will cost about $1.2m (about sh4.3 billion).

It is spearheaded by Plan International, a development and humanitarian organisation that advances children's rights and equality for girls.

During the launch of the programme at Leosim Hotel on Monday, Ibrahim Bigabwa, the assistant commissioner pre-primary education said he was delighted and optimistic that the programme will help improve performance in the region

Bigabwa added that the programme is in line with the government’s policy and is fully behind such interventions because poor learning starts at the nursery school level.

He appealed to the district officials to integrate the ECD programme in the work plan and provide the budget towards it for better performance.

“There is available evidence that children who go to nursery school first perform better than those who join primary school directly, therefore, having such a programme is in line with the government’s policy,” he said.

Jessica Ilomu, the national program manager education at Plan International, said through the programme, over 2000 parents and guardians will also be trained in parenting skills that will enhance the positive development of children.  

Ilomu also added that about 20 ECD centres with over 100 caregivers will also be established in the beneficiary districts.

“Through parenting education, we shall impart skills in parents and guardians to support child development. This will enhance positive parenting practices that support the holistic development of a child,” she said.

She appealed for support from the leaders for the smooth implementation of the programme.

 “We shall need the support of all the stakeholders because our interest is to provide quality, guided, early childhood care and development that promotes cognitive, social, emotional and psychomotor development in children,” she said.

Alex Oremo Alot, the Lira district chairman said, they will act as ambassadors for early childhood development, noting that it was an area that has been neglected by many stakeholders.

“Emphasis has been put mostly on primary, but I think this is the time we need to go back to the drawing board, we welcome this project for the betterment of the future of our children,” he said.

Ruth Muguta, the principal social development officer at the ministry of labour gender and

social development appealed to parents to secure the future of their children by sending them to school.

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