EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION CONFERENCE HYBRID MEETING
Zimbabwe has taken strides to ensure that there is recognition, comprehension, and appreciation of the importance of ECD at a foundational level. This has been evidenced by the inclusion of ECD A and B as compulsory levels within the Zimbabwean education system and the approval of the National Early Learning Policy which assists in the provision of quality and inclusive ECD education. These strides have had an undeniable impact on the recognition of ECD within Zimbabwe. According to the Zimbabwe Early Learning Assessment (ZELA) report of 2021, the enrolment rate in Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs is alarmingly low. The prevalence of malnutrition is also a significant concern, with high rates of stunting and wasting observed among children under the age of 5 with approximately 23% of children in this age group, while 4% suffer from wasting. 60% of young children face multidimensional poverty, including limited education, inadequate healthcare, lack of clean water, sanitation, and poor housing. Rural areas have higher poverty rates, with an estimated two-thirds of impoverished children living outside cities. This disparity increases their vulnerability to developmental delays.2 Access to ECDE in Zimbabwe is still low as the net enrolment rate is at 44.15% for 2022. The qualified teacher-pupil ratios are high which is at 1:54 compared to the recommended ratio of 1:20.
2.1.1. Main objective: To improve access to quality and inclusive early childhood development through strengthening the capacity of decision makers and civil society organizations in ECD financing; embracing digital literacy and innovative learning methods; and promoting collaboration among ECD stakeholders.
Dr. Patrick Makokoro has a PhD in Educational holds a Master of Science Degree in Development Studies, a Post Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Development and has a Bachelor of Arts in Community Development. He has extensive experience working in community and international development projects in Zimbabwe, sub-Saharan Africa and globally. In 2012, he founded the Zimbabwe Network of Early Childhood Development Actors (ZINECDA), a national umbrella organization for Early Childhood Development. He is a Founding member of the African Early Childhood Network which is working to champion the developmental needs of young children in Africa.
Naison Bhunhu holds a Master in Environment and Policy Planning, a Bachelors Honours in Education and a Diploma in Management for the Executives. The National Coordinator provides organisational strategic direction, governance support, resources mobilisation, units oversight and relationship/partnerships building and management. He is responsible for translating ZINECDA's vision into reality through initiatives that improve performance, sustainability, growth and member engagement