Govt launches early learning policy

Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Early Learning Policy (ZELP) is a complete blueprint that has become the first indicator to the country’s commitment to both the United Nations transforming education summit recommendations and the Tashkent Declaration on the provision of early education globally, President Mnangagwa has said.

The President’s note is contained in the policy scheduled to be launched today in Kadoma by Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Angeline Gata.

ZELP is a broad framework of reference to provide a coherent programme that will establish a strong foundation for Zimbabwe’s education system and combine policy statements and strategies to ensure every child in Zimbabwe accesses equitable, quality, inclusive, affordable and relevant foundational learning.

The expected launch is in fulfilment of President Mnangagwa’s August 24, 2018 inauguration speech in which he pledged to move swiftly to address challenges previously affecting the education sector, while the Government would prioritise the strengthening of foundational learning by providing rich early learning programmes.

In President Mnangagwa’s address at the general debate of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 22, 2022, he said: “The Transforming Education Summit, during this high-level week, is a timely welcome development which should help revitalise the education sector, more so after Covid-19 induced disruptions.”

President Mnangagwa called for the full adoption of the policy.

“Over the years, I have called for relevant, quality and inclusive education in the school curriculum whose hallmarks are competencies desired in life and work,” he said.

“This cannot be achieved without the requisite literacies and numeracies that will drive a comprehensive change in our education system. As a country, we have managed to overcome some of the multiple challenges that our education sector has been experiencing since independence in 1980.

“The 1999 Commission of Inquiry into Education and Training underscored recommendations on the need to strengthen the education foundation by investing more in early childhood development.

“I am glad that the Zimbabwe Early Learning Policy is a complete blueprint that has become our first indicator to our commitment to both the Transforming Education Summit recommendations and the Tashkent Declaration on the provision of early education globally.

“The Early Learning Policy contains robust guidelines on the implementation of the infant school module in my country. I commend to the nation the adoption and full implementation of the ZELP which should be a basis for a digital economy in line with the National Development Strategic (NDS1).”

The policy also embraces the need for adequate care before learners are enrolled in the infant school module for pupils from ECD A to Grade 2, and ensures quality early learning for optimal development and school readiness.

It also delineates the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders with an emphasis on the importance of guaranteeing partnership and evidence-based programming.

The expected launch today in Kadoma of the policy by Deputy Minister Gata was confirmed by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr Taungana Ndoro.

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