EU injects $550k into ECD

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THE European Union (EU) has disbursed $520 000 towards refurbishment of classrooms and improvement of learning facilities at 108 early child development centres in parts of Mashonaland West.

Report by Kupakwashe Makonye

Speaking at the launch of the programme in Mhondoro yesterday, the EU delegation’s head of social sectors Jorge Pereiro said the project would initially benefit ECD centres in Mhondoro-Ngezi, Zvimba and Chegutu districts and later spread to other parts of the country.

“The project is part of the overall European Union effort to ensure that infants have access to quality education in preparation for their entry in primary school,” said Pereiro.

“The ECD centres concept provides a supportive and child-friendly environment that is an effective way of ensuring the normal psychological and social development of infants.”

He said the programme was going to complement the Education Transition Fund (ETF) another programme supported by the EU and other development partners. The ETF has provided more than 20 million textbooks to schools throughout the country.

“It is a programme that should significantly change the lives of infants, as it does not only seek to address children’s educational needs.

“Indeed, the Early Child Development Centres programme will provide daily nutritional support to the infants, who will receive fortified porridge,” he said.

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