Usawa Agenda to Launch Report Highlighting Challenges of ECDE Learning in Nairobi’s Informal Settlements

By Korir Isaac / Published May 4, 2022 | 8:38 am




KEY POINTS

Usawa Agenda, the organization championing quality and equitable access to every child in Kenya, will, on Friday, May 6, launch the 2021 ECDE Report at the Kenya National Museum. The report focused on understanding whole child development in the context of informal urban settings in Nairobi.


Secondary School Education Dr. Emmanuel Manyasa, Executive Director and Board Secretary, Usawa Agenda

KEY TAKEAWAYS


Children in Kenya’s urban informal settlements face significant challenges that hamper healthy development, particularly amidst the harsh economic times when their families depend on a daily wage to put food on the table and finance their education.


Investing in Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) programs for children under the age of 5 can have long-lasting benefits throughout their lives. It yields notable advantages in academic achievement, educational progression and attainment, and income and labor market success, among other domains in the future. However, children in urban poor settings in most towns in Kenya face myriads of challenges.

Children in Kenya’s urban informal settlements face significant challenges that hamper healthy development, particularly amidst the harsh economic times when their families depend on a daily wage to put food on the table and finance their education.

Furthermore, inadequate infrastructure, inadequate public services in health and education, insecurity, and poor water and sanitation facilities have also been identified as other challenges that deter children from urban poor settings from receiving quality and equitable education.

In some instances, informal and poor-quality childcare centers with inadequate or untrained teachers and caregivers have proliferated.

A well-facilitated ECDE center that offers brilliant opportunities for learning and play, good feeding, and access to healthcare harbors a great potential to nurture and optimize child development.

A 2021 study published in the BMJ Journal noted that childcare centers with limited cognitive stimulation are likely to hold back children’s development. The study aimed to co-design and test the feasibility of a supportive assessment and skills-building for childcare center providers.

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While the Kenyan government has adopted various guidelines for childcare centers or ECDE centers over the years, such as the Early Childhood Development Service standard guidelines that were instituted in 2006, the situation is far from perfect.

Inadequate resources, limited training, low supervision, and lack of assessment tools have left many ECDE centers unable to meet the minimum requirements for quality learning. The same 2021 study says that the situation is particularly common in urban poor settlements. It emphasizes that providers, who are almost exclusively women, are frequently untrained and unsupported in these centers and offer care in one or two rooms with limited facilities to provide a hygienic, safe and stimulating environment.

In 2017, Their World put the average number of childcare centers in Nairobi at 2700. The numbers have grown since then. It only means that many children are at risk of receiving inadequate care and nurturing during the critical period of their development, which negatively impacts their future learning and well-being.

In light of these glaring challenges, Usawa Agenda, the organization championing quality and equitable access to every child in Kenya, will, on Friday, May 6, launch the 2021 ECDE Report at the Kenya National Museum. The report focused on understanding whole child development in the context of informal urban settings in Nairobi.

The mapping exercise reached 2072 centers spread across the 11 sub-counties – 7 percent public and 93 percent non-public. Among the non-public, 66 percent were owned by individuals, while a further 17 percent were by the communities and 18 percent by NGOs and FBOs.

The study will highlight the shortcomings in ECDE centers in Nairobi and the factors influencing whole child development for ECDE pupils in urban poor informal settlements. Evidence generated through the report is expected to inform improvements in the provision of quality early childhood education in these settlements by engaging key stakeholders and relevant bodies to take action.

Register through this link to be a part of the launch and gain insight into how pupils in ECDE centers perform.




About Korir Isaac

A creative, tenacious, and passionate journalist with impeccable ethics and a nose for anticipated and spontaneous news. He may not say it, but he sure can make one hell of a story.

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