Deputy gender equality minister Lucia Witbooi says more men should join the early childhood development profession, as young children need positive male role models.
She made these remarks last week at Katima Mulilo during the graduation of 20 teachers who received seven weeks' training on early childhood development (ECD).
Since the inception of ECD training in 2011, the ministry has empowered 154 teachers in the Zambezi region to date on how to care and work with young children aged 0-5 years. Out of the 154, only four are men.
Witbooi said it is very important to invest in education because that will allow the nation to realise the objectives of Vision 2030 and the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
"Although parents are the first educators of their children, you, the teachers, have a greater role to build the foundation of the little ones entrusted in your care," she said. She also encouraged the trainees to further their studies and enrol at relevant institutions as they now have the certificates that will allow them to be accepted into these institutions. Shine Kadimba, who was the only man among the 20 trainees, noted that they are very grateful for the opportunity granted by the line ministry because, on their own, they would not have been able to afford the training,
"It is just the beginning of our journey. The knowledge we received will be carried to our ECD centres. Before, we did not know how to work with children in order to develop them correctly. But now that we have received this training, we know how, and promise to deliver," he beamed.
Kadimba, the only male teacher at the Namushasha Pre-primary School, added that he very much enjoys teaching the young ones, and urged other men to get involved in educating young children.
"As a man, I do not see any problem with teaching young children as it is not only a profession for women. I need fellow men to realise that early childhood development education is also a job for them. You will not be less of a man if you teach young children," he stressed.