CHILDREN In The Wilderness (CITW) has urged the Government to invest more in Early Childhood Education if the nation is to have well educated and responsible citizens.
CITW is a non?profit organisation supported by ecotourism company Wilderness Safaris that aims to facilitate sustainable conservation through leadership development and education of rural children in Africa.
CITW programmes manager James Mwanza said the backbone of any country’s quality education lies in children who are supposed to have quality Early Childhood Education.
Mr Mwanza said this during the opening of a five days literacy training workshop for 25 Zambian and Zimbabwean teachers based in Livingstone, Kazungula, Victoria Falls town and Hwange at Richland Lodge in Livingstone yesterday.
The teachers are drawn from Nalituwe, Holy Cross, Simoonga and Twabuka primary schools in Livingstone and Jabulani,Nfundweni and Musiotunya primary schools in Victoria Falls and Hwange respectively.
The training workshop is being held in partnership Wordworks a non-profit organisation established in 2005 to support and improve the literacy and language development of children from disadvantaged communities in South Africa.
He said his organisation had learnt that children needed to have opportunities to build their competence and understanding in the areas of language skills such as vocabulary and comprehension and code related skills such as sound knowledge.
Mr Mwanza said the objective of the training was to equip teachers with new methods on how they could provide lessons to their pupils in a more effective and productive manner.
“We are targeting teachers who are handling Pre-school, grade one and two classes because we want them to develop the knowledge and skills they need to teach children in Early Childhood Education effectively.
“We decided to focus on early childhood education because evidence shows how important language and literacy foundations are for all school learning.
“Children who have developed language and literacy capabilities when they start grade one go on to become better readers and writers,”Mr Mwanza said.
He further disclosed that Early Childhood Education was important in ensuring that children had the necessary foundations to learn to read and write successfully.