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Rwanda’s Early Child Development Program Attracts Somalia’s Attention

by Emmy Nuwamanya
1:40 pm

The Somalis guests with ECD goers

=A team of Somalia’s officials is in Rwanda for a one-week study tour to borrow a leaf from how Rwanda has progressed in the Early Childhood Development (ECD) program.

The team led by Mohamud Yusuf, Education Technical Specialist with Save the Children- Somalia, on May 09, visited an ECD centre, at Groupe Scolaire Nyamata Catholique, located in Bugesera district.  The centre has 209 children in three levels: (3-4 years) baby class, (4 -5years) middle class and (5-6 years) top class being prepared for primary level 1 (pre-school learners).

According to Mohamud, Somalia has just started rolling out the ECD program, the government and other stakeholders are looking forward to supporting the smooth running of the process.

Rwanda has three categories of Early Childhood programs; school-based, Community-based and home-based centres.  The centres provide early childhood education, cultural basics, child protection, care, hygiene, good feeding, among other services.

Bugesera district has 178 schools, 125 being public and the ECD program is being implemented in 116 schools, under the supervision of Sector Education Inspectors (SEIs).

According to the District Director of Education Jacques Gashumba, the district has 13 sectors and there are already between 2-3 caregivers in every public ECD, facilitated by the government.

‘‘Explanations about the program have been put in a good way, in terms of structuring about the ECD program, the three categories, community initiative, government and private owned offer a lot to learn,’’ said Mohamud.

The team from Somalia is looking for ways to establish quality driven ECDs, for good child up bringing, paving way for higher authorities to follow-up on how to build good ties with Rwanda.  They expect to exchange ideas with the Rwanda Basic Education Board (REB) on how best to further promote the ECD program in both countries.

Through the Teacher Management Information System (TMIS) TMI, according to Bugesera District Director of Education, they have been able to monitor the recruitment and turn-off among caregivers, to keep the program running.

Child in an ECD session

‘’We engage so much in induction programs for caregivers, mentoring teachers and training them, based on their specialisation, and this has yielded good results in terms of early childhood development.’’, said DDE Gashumba.

ECDs also provide regular training through the Continuous Professional Development (CPD for caregivers for capacity building, to meet standards in child development.

Andre Tugirimana, an ECD mentor who trains care givers said the program requires considering factors, based on exiting challenges; lack of enough infrastructure, teaching materials since the program requires hands-on training, which is also playful for children to learn easily.

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