WINDHOEK, 13 AUG – The Namibian Government and the Roger Federer Foundation (RFF) on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a school readiness programme that will target pre-primary children in public and private institutions.
The N$90 million agreement is aimed at scaling up access to age-appropriate early learning facilities; enhancing the capacity and competency of educators and early grade teachers and improving the quality of early childhood education.
It will span over seven years and target children between the ages of five and six.
The Chief Executive Officer of the RFF, Janine Händel during the signing of the agreement explained: “The programme will begin by improving early learners on the ground, scale up access to age-appropriate early learning facilities and, enhance capacity, competency of educators and early grade teachers in early learning.
She said with the support of the government, the programme will ensure increased in organised learning. It will also ensure school readiness amongst Namibian children before entering primary school from 45 to 100 per cent.
Since 2015, the Foundation has supported 97 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in the Khomas and Hardap regions by building the capacity of staff and establishing ECD centres.
It further supported in improving interaction between parents and the centres and raising community awareness on the value and importance of early childhood development.
The programme will be carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, LifeLine/ChildLine and the Church Alliance for Orphans.
Deputy Minister of Economic Planning in the Presidency, Pieter Van der Walt said the government has been investing extensively in ensuring free access to education.
“Despite access to education, the challenge has been the quality of education, hence the importance of making sure the groundwork and good investment is done at an early stage of learning to avoid lower participation in secondary schools and higher institutions,” he stressed.
The RFF was formed in 2003 to improve quality of early learning and basic education, especially in the African region.