KEETMANSHOOP - Gender equality minister Doreen Sioka says every child deserves the best start in life and that early childhood development (ECD) can accord them that opportunity. Sioka said this during the recent inauguration and handing over of the Shooting Star ECD centre in Lüderitz.
“Investing in early childhood development makes economic sense, it is an investment into a Namibia to a bright future,’’ she added. Sioka described the role of an ECD centre as a place where young children can come play, learn, shaped, be cared for and be prepared for their future and life-long journey towards growth and development.
She furthermore argued that future engineers, doctors, business professionals and even politicians might emerge one day from such facilities. “There is strong evidence that early life from conception up to the age of eight years is very critical in terms of building a strong foundation for healthy development, life-long learning, well-being, successful communities, economic productivity and harmonious civil societies free from most ills such as gender based violence,” she said.
She also added with quality implementation, integrated early childhood development can be an effective and cost efficient approach ensuring all children develop to their full potential.
She also urged all stakeholders to strive towards making the facility a centre of excellence by getting involved, dedicating their time and talents to encourage the children to attend the kindergarten and learn from guided activities by educarers.
Sioka also called on all individuals and businesses operating in //Kharas and other regions to emulate the good example and plough back into the communities where they operate.
“In conclusion, allow me to extend my utmost gratitude on behalf of the Namibian government to the Rotary Clubs of Lüderitz and Bocholt (Germany), for collaborating with government in its quest to ensure prosperity for all,’’ said Sioka.
The Shooting Star ECD centre was established in 1964, where it has been operating in a church building. Today, the centre employs two female educarers and has 37 children enrolled, of whom 17 are girls and 20 boys.