OMAALALA – The Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare constructed, renovated and upgraded eight Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres to the tune of N$6.1 million in Oshana region.
The funds were sponsored by the European Union. This includes the Namangundu centre at Omaalala, which was inaugurated on Monday. Namangundu was constructed at a total cost of over N$2 million.
The gender minister Doreen Sioka commended the European Union for supporting the childhood development programmes in the country.
Sioka said the support is indicative the EU understands the importance of early childhood education towards learning for very young children.
“Because when this is done successfully, it lays the groundwork for it to continue throughout the child’s education,” said Sioka. Sioka encouraged parents to take keen interest in the children’s education.
“Let us parents take a keen interest in the education of our young children and let us become champions in supporting them to acquire a decent start and help instill in them a culture of reading, writing and continuous learning,” said Sioka.
In the same vein, Sioka urged the teachers to become the children’s parents at school.
“I urge you to work closely with the parents to instill good discipline and respect among the children, respect for self, respect for other children – but most of all, respect for adults and fear of God,” said Sioka.
She further urged the regional, local and traditional authorities, teachers, parents and the entire community to take care of the infrastructure to ensure it will continue to serve the next generation.
“We must, therefore, collectively jealously guard this building against any form of vandalism,” said Sioka.
At the beginning of the year, the centre had registered 32 children; however, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 12 children dropped out, bringing the current total to 22 children. The school started in 2008 at a pension centre and later moved into a corrugated iron sheet room – and today, to a modernised ECD centre.