Statistics from the Federal Ministry of Education reveal that the expected enrolment in ECCD in Nigeria is 22 million, but the actual is 2 million, leaving 20 million children under 5 years old out-of-school.
According to the Universal Basic Education Act 2004, UBEC is mandated to establish National Early Child Care Centres based on Integrated Early Childhood Curriculum which caters for two child cohorts: 0-3 years and 3-5 Years. ECCDE however continues to be provided primarily by the private sector, with very few public schools catering to these age categories.
Research has shown that the first thousand days of a child’s life is critical for future well-being. The effects of neglect in these formative years can be cumulative and lasting.
To support its commitment to primary education, Oando Foundation upgrades and where necessary, establishes ECCD Centres in its adopted schools, to meet the needs of pupils aged 5 years and below to develop the cognitive abilities they need to learn based on the approved curriculum. This curriculum stipulates Physical development, Affective/Psychosocial Development, Cognitive Development, Food and Nutrition, Health, Water and Environmental Sanitation, Safety Measures and Child Protection. Teachers for these classes have their capacity built in ECCD curriculum/application and use of participatory and collaborative teaching.
The programme has been designed to achieve the following objectives:
- To stimulate interest in schooling at a tender age by providing an environment that is child-friendly and age appropriate.
- To ensure the fullest development of personality, talents, and mental and physical abilities
- To strengthen knowledge on current trends and approaches in ECCD capacity building for teachers
- To encourage pupil enrolment and retention in schools
- To provide a conducive environment for children in Oando adopted schools through the provision of a wide range of learning aids that will encourage practical, creative, and engaging hands-on activities.
Oando Foundation partners with various organizations (internationally and locally) including Government agencies that possess the technical expertise to establish and strengthen the programme in areas as required, such as capacity building for Teachers and Care givers, provision of Teaching aids, soft furniture, toys, books resources that would make learning easy and fun both for the Teachers and pupils.
To date, the Foundation has established 3 pilot sites at Archbishop Taylor Memorial Primary school, Lagos, Olisa Primary School, St. Patrick’s Primary Odukpani, Cross-river state, with plans to roll out in all adopted schools.