Early Childhood Education And Development In Malawi: Major Challenges And Prospects
Kholowa, Foster A.C.
Maluwa- Banda, Dixie.
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Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) is an integral part of basic education and represents the first essential step in achieving the goals of education for all. The child’s future personality is determined to a large extent by the learning capacity and value orientation of his/her first five years. ECEC enhances children’s readiness for school and positively influences later school and academic achievement. This article provides an overview of the status of ECEC in Malawi and then discusses the main challenges and perceived prospects. ECEC was an initiative of Christian churches in the late 1960’s. Consequently, collaborative efforts among various interested groups and organisations led to the creation of a coordinating body, the Association of Pre-school Playgroups in Malawi (APPM) in 1974. Up until the early 1990s, conventional forms of ECEC included nursery schools, kindergarten, playgroups, and creche. Few individuals and organisations in the urban areas mostly privately owned these ECEC Centres. The main challenges are those of access, service delivery, equity and staffing.