Factors Contributing to the Growth of Early Childhood Education in Kenya
By University Net Global | Posted October 28, 2012
This article presents the key factors contributing the growth of Early Childhood Education. These include government support through policy formulation and implementation, ECD trained teachers, parents and community’s role and changing roles among men and women.
Government Support: Kenya can still boast of some provisions on ECD. For instance, the first policy on ECD was stipulated in the Sectional Paper No. 6 of 1988 and the National Development Plan of 1989/1993. This policy is inline with Children’s Act of 2001 which safeguards the rights and welfare of children from early childhood to adolescence (UNESCO, 2005). In 2006, the government drafted a National Early Childhood Development Policy Framework. This policy was a product of the knowledge and experiences of various stakeholders in ECD from district, provincial and national level. The framework provides a coordination roadmap and defines the roles of various stakeholders in Early Childhood Development (RoK, 2006).
A pool of ECD trained teachers: The opportunity for the growth of ECD has further been enhanced by the increasing number of ECD trained teachers. These teachers have been trained in various early childhood education colleges in Kenya. A good number of Early childhood centers are thus under qualified personnel. Parents are thus motivated to enroll their children in these centers. This has in turn increased the number of young children enrollment in these centers (UNESCO, 2000). However, the challenge of employment by the government still remains a big issue that has not yet been resolved.
Parents and community’s role: Kenya’s early childhood program has grown because it is rooted in the community. Through workshops and seminars organized by the DICECE, parents and community members have been encouraged and empowered to increase their participation beyond provision of physical facilities. They provide the feeding program and take part in collecting, telling and demonstrating stories, songs and dances in the mother tongue. The incorporation of tradition and folklore into the curriculum make the community feel proud of their contribution to the learning process and development of their children. The lesson from Kenya is that the community is a very important resource for the development of the ECD program and must continue to be tapped and appreciated. A larger portion of the costs of the preschools development are borne by the communities and external donors (Myers, 1992).
Changing Roles among men and women: Today more than ever before, the traditionally assigned roles among men and women are rapidly changing. Modern woman is now a bread winner; she is no longer a house wife who used to remain behind at home to take care of the young ones. This has contributed to the growth of early childhood development centers where children can be taken care of as both parents are actively involved in looking for livelihood.
Myers, R.G. (1992) Towards an Analysis of the Costs and Effectiveness of Community-based Early Childhood Education in Kenya: The Kilifi District, Nairobi: Aga Khan Foundation.
UNESCO (2000) Framework for Action on Values of Education in Early Childhood, ECF Values, Early Education and Family Education Unit, UNESCO. Retrieved May 28, 2011 from http://portal.unesco.org/education
UNESCO (2005) Policy Review Report: Early Childhood Care and Education in Kenya, Early Childhood and Family Policy, Retrieved May 28, 2011 from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0013/001390/139026e.pdf