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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Media engaged on ECD issues

Story by Cordelia Ngara

Early Childhood Development has been described as the most fundamental and crucial stage in every child’s education life.

The Zimbabwe Network of Early Childhood Development Actors (ZINECDA) held a media training workshop for editors in Harare this Thursday in order to strengthen dialogue with the media.

For the media fraternity, the workshop was an eye-opener in their understanding of ECD-related issues.

“This workshop was an eye opener, most importantly for me the issue of inclusivity. Yes, the media is not doing enough in terms of covering childhood issues but what is critical is that the media has not done enough in terms of covering people with disabilities,” said ZBC News Editor, Ian Zvoma.

Herald Editor Phyllis Kachere noted, “For me, the benefits are quite huge issues ECD are not very much covered in the media. We cover them once in a while, so this workshop has been an eye-opener as editors on issues that we should be concentrating on.”

The media is expected to play a critical role in highlighting Early Childhood Development related issues.

“It is important to always bring in the Fourth Estate to be part and parcel to being part of the mix so as to drive ECD-related issues so that the people are made aware and the government is held accountable on what they are supposed to do. The gaps that exist denote information loopholes because the practitioner is not articulating the public policy-related issues very well. There are also loopholes in terms of the criticality of ECD. All these things are not harmonised so as to foster a fully-fledged 21st century ECD learner,” media consultant Dr Alexander Rusero said.

Funding has been highlighted as another major source of concern.

Public Management Finance Specialist Mr Pepukai Chivore said, “For education in general, we’re spending less than 20% on our budget and for that 20 per cent, less than 5 per cent is going to ECD, which is lower than the international threshold and the threshold on ECD funding in the SADC region.”

ECD provides a firm building block for the education of children, with the government having committed to facilitating the provision of a decent learning environment at every school.

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