Situation analysis of the early childhood development (ECD) programme in rural primary schools in Zimbabwe
Keywords:Early childhood development (ECD), Programme, Rural primary schools, Funding, Resources, Accessibility, Policy guidelines
Early childhood development (ECD) programmes the world over have been found to be central in the successful holistic development and positive future socioeconomic outcomes for young children. In Africa in general and in Sub-Saharan Africa in particular, these programmes have been punctuated by overwhelming challenges related to poor funding and paucity of resources as well as vague policy models. The purpose of this study was to undertake a situation analysis of the ECD programme in rural primary schools in Zimbabwe. The study, which was premised on the positivist philosophy was therefore quantitative and utilized the descriptive survey design. A sample of 100 teachers was generated across 10 districts in 5 of the rural provinces of Zimbabwe using two stage sampling comprising purposive and randomization strategies in that order. A structured questionnaire was used to elicit data and was in certain instances, triangulated with observation. The study revealed that there was either constrained or total lack of funding of the ECD programme in rural schools in Zimbabwe, lack of government support and that the programme was not overly accessible to all children more so to those with disabilities. Meanwhile, policy guidelines were either unavailable in the rural primary schools or not religiously adhered to. The study then concluded that the ECD programme in rural primary schools in Zimbabwe was greatly compromised casting doubt on its quality and effectiveness. It was also concluded that the programme might have excluded many poor and disabled children in rural settings. On these bases the study recommended increased funding, resourcing and capacity building and advocated for policy review to ensure accommodation of the needs of children with disabilities and adoption of firmer enforcement procedures. In the ultimate, the study recommended further studies of national dimension, which should target mostly at rural settings.
Akinrotimi, A.A., Olowe, P.K., 2016. Challenges in implementation of early childhood education in Nigeria: The way forward. J. Educ. Pract., 7(7), 33-38.
Atmore, E., van Niekerk, L., Ashley-Cooper, M., 2012. Challenges facing the ECD sector in SA: A comprehensive report on ECD to the national development agency (NDA). Pretoria, NDA.
Boyd, M., 2013. I love my work but..; The professionalization of early childhood education. Qual. Rep., 18(71), 1-20.
Bukaliya, R., Mubika, A.K., 2012. Assessing the benefits and challenges of the introduction of early childhood development education to the infant grades in the Zimbabwean education system. Int. J. Soc. Sci. Educ., 3(1), 25-34.
Chikwiri, E., Musiyiwa, J., 2017. Challenges and gaps in children’s transition from early childhood development to grade one in Zimbabwe. Int. J. Educ. Admin. Pol. Stud., 9(7), 91-102.
Chukwbikem, P.E., 2013. Resources for early childhood education. Mediterr. J. Soc. Sci., 4(8), 161-172.
Dyanda, C., Makoni, R.D., Kuyayama, A., 2005. Evaluation of the national early childhood development programme. Harare, UNICEF.
Freeman, T., Faure, S.D., 2003. Local solutions to global challenges: Towards effective partnership in basic education. Lusaka, Government Printers.
Government of Zimbabwe, 2011. The ECD syllabus. Harare, Government Printers.
Huntsman, L., 2008. Determinants of quality in child care: A review of the research evidence. Centre for Parenting and Research. Lit. Rev., 1-23.
Jibril, M.O., 2007. Teacher education in Nigeria: An overview. Afr. Res. Rev., 1(2), 130-140.
Koech, B., Njenga, A., 2006. Early childhood framework for Kenya discussion paper. Nairobi: UNESCO.
Mangwaya, E., Blignaut, S., Pillay, S.K., 2016. The readiness of schools in Zimbabwe for the implementation of early childhood education. S. Afr. J. Educ., 36(1), 792-800.
Ministry of Education Sport and Culture, 2004. Secretary’s circular minute number 14 of 2004. Harare: MOESC.
Ministry of Education Sport and Culture, 2005. Director’s circular minute number 12 of 2005. Harare: MOESC.
Ministry of Education Sport and Culture, 2005. Statutory Instrument No106 of 2005: Education (Early childhood development centres) regulations. Harare: MOESC.
Ministry of Education Sport and Culture, 2012, 2014. Annual statistical report. Harare: MOESC.
Mohiuddin, S., 2008. An evaluation study of early childhood education (ECE) in Pakistan. Islamabad, Hamdard Institute of Education.
Moyo, J., Wadesango, N., Kurebwa, M., 2012. Factors that affect the implementation of early childhood development programmes in Zimbabwe. Studies of Tribes Tribals, 10(2), 141-149.
Ndlovu, P., 2017. Bold moves in the 2018 budget. Chronicle, 7 December.
Neuman, J.N., Devercelli, A.E., 2012. Early childhood policies in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges and opportunities. Int. J. Child Care Educ. Pol., 6(2), 21-34.
Nganga, L., 2009. Early childhood education programs in Kenya: Challenges and solutions. Early Years, 29(3), 227-236.
Nziramasanga, C.T., 1999. Report of the presidential commission of inquiry into education and training. Harare, Government Printers.
Penn, H., 2004. Childcare and early childhood development programmes and policies: Their relationship to eradicating child poverty. London: Childhood Poverty Research and Policy Centre (CHIP).
Samkange, W., 2016. Management and administration of early childhood centres: The roles of school heads. Scholar J. Econ. Bus. Manag., 3(1), 44-52.
Sibanda, P., 2014. Effectiveness of the early childhood development programme on grade one performance in mathematics and English language in Mzilikazi district (Bulawayo). IOSR J. Eng., 4(1), 41-47.
Sun, J., Rao, N., Pearson, E., 2015. Policies and strategies to enhance the quality of early childhood educators. New York, UNESCO.
UNESCO, 2004. Education for all: The quality imperative. Summary. EFA Global Monitoring Report 2005. Paris, UNESCO.
UNESCO, 2006. Nigeria: Early childhood care and education (ECCE). Paris, UNESCO.
UNESCO, 2006. Strong foundations: Early childhood care and education. Paris, UNESCO.
UNICEF, 2008. Early childhood development. New York, UNICEF.
UNICEF, 2010. Child protection fund: In support of the government of Zimbabwe’s national action plan for orphans and vulnerable children. Harare, UNICEF.
WHO, 2012. Early childhood development and disability: A discussion paper. Geneva, WHO/UNICEF.
Zimbabwe Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, 2015. Curriculum framework for primary and secondary education 2015-2022. Harare, Government Printers.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2020 Patrick Sibanda
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.