10 July 2018

Botswana: Early Childhood Education Crucial - Arone

Shakawe — Minister of Basic Education Mr Bagalatia Arone has said early childhood education was essential because it boosted children's confidence at an early age as well as aiding in intellectual and linguistic development.

He was speaking at the official opening of a pre-school learning centre at Botshelo Trust in Shakawe recently.

The minister emphasised the importance of early childhood education, saying it enabled children to effortlessly grasp some concepts when they started formal schooling.

He therefore commended Botshelo Trust for the learning centre, noting that research had indicated that early childhood education had proved to be effective worldwide.

Mr Arone thus said, as a responsible ministry, they would want such organisations to be part of the country's education system and they would provide all the necessary support.

He said one of the challenges facing the country was poor final examination results, adding that initiatives such as early childhood learning should be embraced as they could help improve the results.

On other issues, the minister said at political level, they had been reluctant with the introduction of mother tongue language in schools for fear of regionalisation.

Furthermore, Mr Arone said the current status quo of the education system in terms of languages used was the best as it united people and linked them to the global village.

Programme manager at Botshelo Trust, Mr Eben le Roux said they are "a platform for strategic programmes in the region,' such as early childhood development, youth development and bible translation programmes among others.

He said for the first time, the Bambukushu were receiving copies of a translation of the Bible's Old Testament.

The learning centre at Botshelo Trust was funded by Share for Smiles, a German-based non-profitable organisation.

For his part, Share for Smiles representative, Mr Tobias Bader said they raised funds for the learning centre by selling African calendars in Germany.

He said their role was to develop educational structures in the country, noting that in the past they had built a pre-school facility in Kopong and had also donated ICT equipment to some school in Radisele.

Area councilor, Mr Lesedi Boy commended such organisations for their role in complementing government efforts in improving the standard of education in the country.

Source: BOPA

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