Malnutrition and the impact on educational outcomes are just some of the risks associated with the closure of early childhood development centres across Namibia.
Following the declaration of the Covid-19 pandemic as a national disaster, the Namibian government announced that early childhood development (ECD) centres would be shut down from early March.
Hilma Weber, a project coordinator at a non-governmental organization, Development Workshop in Namibia, an implementing partner to Unicef shared that evidence-based research shows that the best-known benefits of quality ECD services for children’s growth, health, cognitive performance, personal and social well-being justify its provision by the state from a human rights perspective.
Former teacher, Mila Cravinho who is an educational consultant and expert gracefully said that early childhood development (ECD) education should always be prioritized. She also said that she doesn’t think the community realizes the impact and importance of this phase of education.
They both believe that ECD education should be a priority alongside other academic plans for this year which have been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Cravinho also acknowledged that while there are particular skills that children need to be taught that may put them on the back foot with their academic progress, they can catch up on these skills and she urges parents to keep their children mentally stimulated during the lockdown.