The World Bank (WB) has released US$200 000 to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in support of quality early childhood learning.
Early childhood development has been identified as the best tool for laying a foundation for better learning and grasping of concepts in the later stages of a child's development.
Speaking at the Mashonaland West Merit Awards ceremony at Chinhoyi High School recently, acting permanent secretary and principal director in the ministry Mr Peter Muzavazi said the move would help improve the quality of students.
"Many young people are leaving school unequipped with even the most foundational skills they need for life," he said. "Studies have clearly shown that early learning has a bearing on the foundation that we lay for each child. What are the foundational skills we are giving the children?"
Mr Muzavazi said the first years of a child's life were important.
The Merit Awards were being given to learners who excelled at Grade 7, 'O' and 'A' Levels for 2018 in Mashonaland West Province.
In a speech read on her behalf by acting director in her office Mr Douglas Chiwiro, Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka said stakeholders should support the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
"It is critical to know that a number of stakeholders were involved in coming up with the Merit Awards," she said. "It is commendable that you are creating partnership with many stakeholders. I appeal to stakeholders to support the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education."
Minister Mliswa-Chikoka called on councillors and legislators to prioritise education related projects when disbursing Constituency Development Funds.
Meanwhile, Mr Muzavazi has been selected to be in the World Bank Advisory Group where he would join other officials and academics from around the world to advise on early childhood development.