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SADC focuses on ECD education accessibility for all

By Patience Nyagato

THE need to guarantee access to education at the earliest stage of childhood development dominated proceedings when members of the SADC Parliamentary Forum met in Harare this Tuesday.

The forum met in Harare this Tuesday to discuss possible ways of financing education to reduce the burden for the underprivileged.

The focus was on increasing accessibility and affordability at the Early Childhood Development (ECD)stage.

“We have some of the MPs from SADC member states meeting here and this is critical in making sure that the government finances education. This will relieve poorer families so that education is much more affordable and accessible for all. We think it is important for our MPs to be well capacitated so that they infuse issues of concern into their parliamentary work,”, said Ms Mammehela Matamane, SADC Parliamentary Forum representative.

With a clear understanding that Early Childhood Development Education is the foundation, parliamentarians believe ECD should be accessible to all children.

“ECD should be prioritised by all governments in SADC. We want parliamentarians to reinforce the financing of education in the case of ECD and find local means of revenue collection which relieves the burden from communities, to more of the state,” said Naison Bhunhu, ZINECDA national coordinator.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education Honourable Torerayi Moyo is confident free education is attainable.

“Free ECD education in Zimbabwe is achievable because we can see the positive steps that have been taken by government. The vision of the President is to provide free basic state-funded education and compulsory free education starting from kindergarten which is ECD.

“It is already in the pipeline and according to the Education Amendment Act 2020, which speaks to the provision of free compulsory education. We are carrying out a lot of studies to ensure that the achievements we want as a country will be realised,” he said.

This comes after President Emmerson Mnangagwa confirmed that the government of Zimbabwe will progressively provide universal, free, and compulsory basic education from next year.

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