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Plan still underway for pre-school subsidies

Plan still underway for pre-school subsidies

Zorena Jantze

THE Future of pre-school teachers, as well as employees, still hangs in the balance when it comes to remuneration as government is still sorting out modalities for subsidies for Early Childhood Development (ECD) employers.


In compliance with the regulations on social distancing due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Namibia, pre-schools, kindergartens and crèches have been directed to remain closed.


Deputy Director of the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Martha Mbombo, in a press briefing on the impact of COVID-19 on early childhood development stated that the ministry has requested kindergarten owners to submit suggestion for subsidies.


She added that some of them may not qualify for the current COVID-19 emergency social grant of N$750, and as such, government will soon announce the way forward with regards to subsidisation.


Mbombo further stated that apart from the threat to health, children’s ability for early learning development has been impacted.


Future pre-school teachers remuneration government
Picture for illustrative purposes only.


“However this process can take place from home at a lower cost. Parents will not be alone as our ministry, together with the European Union, UNICEF and many more partners, will support and provide guidance and support on teaching necessary early childhood development skills” Mbombo said.


According to the 2018 government statistics, around 24% of Namibian children under the age of five are stunted, while 6% are wasted and 13% underweight.


Commenting on how government will help disadvantaged minors during the pandemic, Education senior programmes manager from the European Union delegation, Sonio Godinho noted that it is necessary to ensure that children are well-fed for proper brain development.


“A food package or voucher will be provided by the EU to ensure that early childhood development is not compromised,” said Godinho.


Mbombo further reassured those struggling to feed their children that the food bank is still in operation and is following a scheduled distribution process.


She added that food parcels have also been contributed to the homeless at the Khomasdal youth centre.


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