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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Government launches ECD competitions in Chipinge

Story by Tamuka Charakupa

Government has begun implementing the Zimbabwe Early Learning Policy launched by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education last month with the inaugural ECD competitions being held in Chipinge this Saturday.

Last month, the government, through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, launched the Zimbabwe Early Learning Policy and its fruits are being realised at Kondo Primary School in Chipinge following the launch of the inaugural ECD competitions. Over 500 children under 6 years drawn from 34 schools of Mutema-Musikavanhu are participating in various field disciplines.

The event which turned out to be a family fun day gave the Under 6 children the opportunity to interact and share memories, a development commended by parents as inclusive and also key in nurturing hidden young talents.

A parent told the ZBC News, “This is an exciting opportunity for our children. We have been longing to see the day where are kids compete at local, district and national levels. They used to play at their ECD centres just as a class but this one is a milestone development.”

“We are very impressed with this new curriculum and the new policy. We have never experienced such an impressive initiative where our children can showcase their talents in an environment that they feel safe and happy,” another parent said.

“As parents, we feel proud to see our young ones participating in sporting competitions and physical education. This is not only an exercise but a platform to discover their potential,” said yet another proud parent.

Mutema-Musikavanhu legislator, who is also the Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Honourable Angeline Gata explained government’s thrust in coming up with the Early Learning Policy, a highlight also emphasised by the deputy minister of National Housing and Social Amenities Honourable Yeukai Simbanegavi who graced the event.

She said, “This is the Zimbabwe Early Learning Policy at play and it also complements our competence-based learning curriculum. As government, we realised that our ECD pupils were being left out in sporting competitions, so today we have launched their own tournaments. This is an exercise which we intend to introduce across the country leading to local, district, provincial and national tournaments. Our President, Cde Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa always speaks of leaving no one and no place behind and we also saying our children are equally important.

“Sports not only contribute to physical fitness but also foster mental and emotional well-being. Engaging in athletic activities nurtures agility, teamwork, perseverance, and discipline – qualities that transcend the sporting arena and become pillars of success in all aspects of life. Through sports, our children learn the importance of setting goals, overcoming challenges, and never giving up. These are life lessons that will shape their character and serve them well as they grow into responsible and resilient individuals.”

The Deputy Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities Honourable Yeukai Simbanegavi said, “We are also coming on board as the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities supporting this noble cause coming from our social amenities side. One of our mandate is to ensure we provide a conducive environment for social activities and cohesion, so we applaud the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education for launching and implementing the Early Learning Policy.

“Above all, engaging in sports at a young age can have a profound impact on academic pursuits as well. It is not uncommon for those who excel in sports to pursue degrees in sports science or other related fields. Furthermore, sports can open doors to scholarships, providing our children with educational opportunities they may not have otherwise had. Let us recognise the power of sport as a vehicle for academic achievement and personal growth,” she said.

The launch of the ECD tournaments dovetails with government’s inclusivity policy of leaving no one and no place behind as young learners are afforded an opportunity to participate in activities that we were formally reserved for older learners.

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