Zanzibar – With support from development partners, the Zanzibar Ministry of Education and Vocational Training has said it targets to have all children pass through nursery schools before joining primary education by 2020.
“Currently, the enrolment in nursery schools is below 40 per cent. We are determined to raise it to 100 per cent by 2020 as par our new education policy,” Mr Abdalla Mzee Abdalla said here at the launch of ‘Improving Access to and Quality of Early Childhood Development Programme (AQECDP).’ Mr Abdalla was speaking at the Park Hyatt Hotel where the launching ceremony of’ 2014/2017 was done.
The programme dubbed “Watoto Kwanza’ was held and includes training and providing skills to about 900 preschool teachers. The $1.6 million agenda was jointly launched by the main supporters/ development partners: ‘Dubai Cares’ and the Aga Khan Foundation through its Madrasa Early Childhood Programme.
“We are thankful to our development partners in supporting us to achieve our goals in education, particularly having quality education by training teachers and providing equipment. Definitely, we are on track to success,” Mr Abdalla said.
He further said that parents’ response to the free education policy and compulsory nursery school policy has been remarkable, prompting congestion in schools.
“Our education programme including ‘Watoto Kwanza’ is hampered by critical shortage of space/classrooms to accommodate the students. We urgently need support for new buildings!” he said.
The ‘Watoto Kwanza’ programme aims to increase access to and quality of preprimary education for 25,000 boys and girls aged 4 and 5 in Zanzibar and deliver quality primary and pre-primary professional development courses for teachers.
The programme also aims at making “classrooms fun and stimulating learning environments for children and to build a pre-primary education support system and network.”
In his opening remarks, Mr Tariq Al Gurg, the Chief Executive Officer for ‘Dubai Cares’ said they were happy with Zanzibar and would consider narrowing down the existing huge gap in early childhood, by mainly finding a solution for the congestion.
Mr Abid Malik, the Country Director, Aga Khan Foundation Tanzania and Ms Shahida Jinah, the Chairperson (National Board), Madrasa Early Childhood Programme- Zanzibar, said in separate remarks that they were committed to make sure the ‘early childhood programme’ succeeds by having the best schools, teachers and curriculum.
SOURCE: Tanzania Daily News