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Curriculum for children set to help address early development challenges

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Early development challenges
Child under five years old having fun at Brac playing Lab

The government in collaboration with Brac, a non-governmental organization (NGO), is developing the Early Childhood Development (ECD) curriculum for Child Care Centres to ensure proper facilitation of play activities.

Commissioner of Social Welfare in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr. Naftary Ng’ondi, noted during a recent consultative meeting that the curriculum would reflect age, interests, demand, environment and the culture of children.

“The curriculum will help address challenges to best child care at the centers,” said the Commissioner at the consultative meeting, which was jointly organized by the government and Brac. The consultative meeting brought together 19 social welfare officers from the ministry and 10 experts from Brac to review ECD handouts for improvement before the government endorses it.

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Dr. Ng’ondi said most of the child care centers lacked experts to offer ideal child care and protection services, a shortage of play equipment for children, adding that children faced poor services, including nutrition at the center.

“Following the challenges, the government in partnership with Brac has organized the consultative meeting to review the ECD curriculum before the government endorses it,” he observed.

For her part, Brac Programme Manager Susan Bipa noted that the three-day consultative meeting would provide an ideal opportunity for social welfare officers from the community development portfolio to discuss the curriculum for improvement.

She said Brac carried out a Brac play lab pilot project in 120 community-based child care centers using the curriculum and there was a positive response from members of the community on the curriculum.

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Presenting a paper on the play curriculum, early childhood development trainer Jaffari Ismael said generally the play curriculum was developed on the basis of what children knew and could do according to their age.

He noted further that the play curriculum had been divided into two parts based on the age of children: 3-4 years old curriculum and 4-5 years old curriculum and those play activities were organized in such a way that children could play with interest and enjoyment.

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