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Action Aid calls for ECD funding

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Action Aid says high primary school dropout rates, especially among girls in the country’s rural areas could be traced back to poor investment in early childhood development (ECD) initiatives.

Programmes Officer for Neno District Landani Masingati said this when the organisation officially handed over an ECD facility to communities in the area of Traditional Authority Dambe in the district.

According to Masingati, late enrollment of girls into primary schools fueled by absence of ECD centres remains a critical contributor of high school dropout rates among girls.

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“As you know, girls grow up fast so any delays to enroll them in school could lead to their dropout later. For example, a 15-year-old girl in junior primary school will seem older than her male counterpart, hence may drop out of school due to various factors,” Masingati said.

He emphasised on the importance of ECD calling on more investments into these  initiatives.

“The first eight years of a child are so critical that they can determine whether he or she will become a productive citizen in the future, hence there is need for various stakeholders, including government to invest more in ECD as it is a foundation for the children,” he said.

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According to Masingati, government has in recent years failed to honour its pledge of allocating about 2 percent of the total national budget towards ECD, a thing he says poses a challenge to the well-being of children in the country.

Over 200 children will benefit from the facility which is complete with a kitchen where care givers will be cooking for the children

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