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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

African states pledge support for early
childhood education to drive progress

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- African governments and their bilateral partners will rededicate efforts to revitalize early-childhood education to realize sustainable development, senior officials said here Wednesday.

Senior policymakers, scholars and campaigners who attended the inaugural African Early Childhood Education Conference agreed that improving numeracy and literacy skills of young ones is key to achieving economic progress and social harmony in the continent.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, in his opening remarks, urged African countries to harmonize policies on pre-primary education and share best practices that would transform it amid higher demand for skilled labor force.

“Comprehensive early childhood education is not only a human right embedded in our constitutions but also a prerequisite to achieve the desired prosperity in our continent,” Kenyatta said.

“We should therefore share knowledge, experiences and best practices that are needed to promote intellectual, physical and emotional development of a child,” he added.

The conference seeks to reignite a conversation on promoting early childhood education that has been identified as an enabler to achieve the continent’s growth and transformation agenda.

The Kenyan leader said that curriculum reforms, coupled with investments in enablers like clean water, sanitation and nutrition, are key to boosting the cognitive abilities of young learners.

“It has been established that investing in quality education for the children has immense returns to any country,” Kenyatta said, adding that Kenya aims to achieve universal pre-primary school enrollment by 2020.

             

 

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