24 May 2019

Cameroon: Nursery Education - Experts Seek to Increase Enrolment

A diagnostic workshop to this effect ends today in Yaounde.

Information from the United Nations Children's Education Fund (UNICEF) indicates that quality pre-primary education has impressive benefits for children, education systems, and society at large. Despite the mounting evidence, there are major gaps in equitable access to early childhood education services, particularly in Cameroon.

It is within this backdrop that experts from UNICEF, Ministry of Basic Education and stakeholders in the sector on Wednesday May 22, 2019 in Yaounde began identifying the strength, challenges and weakness of the preprimary system in the country in a bid to reinforce its capacity to provide quality education to children.

Organized by UNICEF and other part ners, an education consultant from UNICEF Headquarters in New York, Hsiao-Chen Lin, said the organization is out to provide practical support to countries as they seek to develop or strengthen their pre-primary subsector as an integral, well-functioning part of a broader education system. She said the workshop is a stock taking moment on the situation of pre-primary schools in the country and also to develop new policies and approaches that will ensure that nursery schools are strong enough to deliver quality services for young children.

Participants at the workshop had an in-depth analysis on major aspect in the preprimary education amongst which the curriculum, family and community engagement, teachers, planning for equitable services for young children as well as quality assurance for pre-primary education. On behalf of the Minister of Basic Education, the Secretary General, Paul Ebune Tiku said the workshop is on a good foot, especially as the country still encounters problems after coming up with a national education policy for pre-primary education.

He said authorities still have problems convincing parents in the rural areas to know that nursery school is also meant for their children. He said "when one look around, it is realised that nursery schools are mostly found in the urban areas and only parents who have the means send their children to these schools. Strategies put in place by the government has helped in coming up with more of community based nursery schools which are not rural schools. As such children easily have access to such schools at cheaper rate.

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