Nsanje, December 6: Kuchene Women Forum in Nsanje has expressed concern over lack of interest on the part of traditional leaders and parents in issues of Early Childhood Development (ECD) which it says is affecting the delivery of ECD services in the country.
The Forum’s president, Mary Namalomba, bemoaned low enrollment in Community Based Childcare Centres (CBCCs) in Nsanje, which she attributed to lack of knowledge on the part of parents and local leaders on the importance of early childhood development services.
“Nsanje is one of the districts that are lagging behind as far as early childhood development is concerned. And this is because most parents and local leaders in the district are not aware of the importance of ECD services,” she said.
Namalomba thus appealed to the people in question to change their attitude towards ECD saying children that undergo the services perform better when they go to primary school than those that are denied access to such services.
“Parents and local leaders should know that children staying in homes are exposed to various dangers including natural disasters. This impacts negatively on child development education wise and socially,” she explained.
The Forum’s President added that enrolling children in CBCCs gives women an opportunity to execute their social-economic activities hence achieving more in the country’s development.
Namalomba further appealed to the people in question to change their attitude if the country is to have people who would contribute positively to national development.
“As citizens, we have a collective responsibility to ensure that our children are given a conducive environment to achieve positive socio–economic development,” she noted.
Meanwhile, Kuchene Women Forum which is working with the NGO Action Aid International Malawi in Early Childhood Development has embarked on a campaign in which traditional leaders and their subjects are being sensitized on the importance of ECD services.
The grouping was established in 2008 to spearhead the fight for women and children’s rights among other things.