Fifty two Early Childhood Development (ECD) teachers from Salima and Ntchisi have become the first group to graduate with an advanced certificate in ECD.
The teachers underwent a comprehensive training at the ECD training centre in Blantyre, which covers additional topics in teaching pre-school children.
The training covered among other areas, learning through play, planning and organising learning environment, child health and care, child health and environmental care and ECD centre management and partnership.
Speaking on behalf of the graduates, student leader John Banda said the training was broad and has prepared them with the knowledge to open and manage new ECD centres effectively.
“We now know what to do to prepare a child for primary school and I am assuring government that products from our team will be different from the crop that has been produced before because we have learnt how to make a child active and productive in class,” he said.
Quality control and monitoring officer in the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare Nelly Masamba Maneya said government is working on turning teaching in kindergarten into a profession and create more levels of study as qualifications.
She said Magomero and Chancellor College are working on introducing diploma and degree courses in ECD.
“We have adopted ECD training. We had a pilot project which graduated over 100 and today we are graduating our first group which has undergone the comprehensive training in ECD. We want a career progression by creating another level which is a diploma and later a degree.
“I am happy to inform the nation that we are making progress on this and soon the programmes will begin,” said Maneya.
She, however, said the main challenge is the entry point into the programmes, saying most ECD teachers do not have any secondary school certificate.
Maneya said it would be wrong to dump those that have already attended the basic trainings.