Govt wants corporate world in ECD

Written by  Mike Mkwala

The Association of Early Childhood Development in Malawi, AECDM, has called on the business community to assist government and other stakeholders in the promotion of early childhood development in the country.

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Speaking during a dinner in Mzuzu organized to raise awareness on the need to invest in ECD, the Association’s Executive Director, Archie Malisita, told MBC that currently ECD programs cater for 45 percent of children requiring early childhood development services.

"About 4 million children need to undergo early childhood development in the country, but research has shown that only 45 percent of these children are being accessing the services”, said Malisita.

According to Malisita, Government has shown commitment towards the ECD sector by increasing budget allocations from 20 million kwacha to 500 million kwacha in the current financial year, and hopes of up to 1 billion kwacha allocation in the next financial year.

However, Malisita said the allocation is not adequate hence the need for the business sector to complement the government effort.

“We need at least 5 billion kwacha,” he said.

Mzimba North District Social Welfare Officer, Edward Chisanga further notes the success stories and challenges in the ECD sector.

“Malawi currently has managed to institute an ECD centre in each and every area of a group village headman in all the districts in the country but there is still need to build more modern centers”, said Chisanga.

And according to Dr Khama Chibwana who is an expert in early child development, there is evidence from neural science that 90 percent of brain development happens from conception to 3 years.

“Therefore if we invest in ECD we will have to spend less in primary and other levels because by then the kids would be able to grasp things without difficulties”, said Chibwana.

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