By George Mponda – Mana.

General Secretary of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia, General Secretary of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia has asked government to consider employing early childhood development (ECD) caregivers on permanent basis.

Tembo was speaking Tuesday in Mzuzu during the graduation ceremony of 40 ECD caregivers from Dowa who have undergone a two-week basic training which was funded by World Vision International (WVI).

“Early childhood development is  critical towards ensuring the bright future of our country therefore there is need for serious investments to be made towards this.

“At the moment, a majority of ECD caregivers are working on voluntary basis without any meaningful incentives, a thing which is causing most of them to abandon this work as they also have to search for their daily bread,”he said.

The general Secretary then asked government to employ the caregivers on a permanent basis just like other teachers saying private stakeholders are doing their best to train them.

“The Livingstonia Synod knows that children are the future of this country that is why we have an ECD department to support government in shaping all Malawian children without looking at their religious beliefs,” he added.

In response, National ECD Training Coordinator, Chikondi Kaumbudzo said there is a light at the end of the tunnel for ECD caregivers because government is considering putting 3000 of them on it’s payroll.

“At the moment, there are 2000 caregivers on government payroll and they even recieved 2000 tablet phones donated by the Roger Federer Foundation to aid them in their work,”she said.

She however raised an alarm that since a majority of the current caregivers don’t have a Malawi School of Education Certificate (MSCE) when time comes to employ them permanently, some may not be considered.

“As you know, Government only employs people who have the necessary certificates for a position, therefore, those who do not have atleast an MSCE try to get one before the time comes,”she advised.

In his remarks, Makaiko Kayimba acting Education Programme Manager for WVI said they are committed to supporting government’s efforts to ensure there is quality ECD services being offered to Malawian children.

“WVI works in rural communities and we noted that ECD service delivery is very poor that is why we have been training caregivers all over the country in our catchment areas. This time, we have spent close to K20 million to train these graduands from Dowa,”he explained.

Class President of the graduands Fydes Chilemba also echoed the General Secretary’s plea for government to employ them on a permanent basis saying most of them are already dedicated caregivers.





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