Government has been advised to fast track the introduction of a new Early Child hood policy for quality education at this stage. The Education Act 2008 recognizes pre-primary education as the first level of education in Uganda and four programs that is to say day care centers, home based centers, community centers and Nursery Schools are recognized.
The existing policy expired in 2013 and since then there has not been any amendments to guideline the sector. Addressing a press conference at Rock Gardens in Kampala, the executive Director High Sound for Children, Ms Hadijah Mwanje said children have been exposed to substandard centers due to the lack of a policy. She says that they are also aware that government is currently consulting different partners to have the policy finalized but teachers and director of Early learning centers have not been consulted.
“We are aware that the ministry of education is reviewing the ECD policy but the private sector has not been consulted yet. Heads of Nursery schools, and teachers they are in charge of implementing the policy have been excluded. We implore government to expedite the finalization of the policy so that there are clear guidelines, control and quality assurance and most of all safety of our young children” She said.
She also urged government to take control of the Early Child hood education sector and ensure that all its primary schools have Early Childhood education centers in the new policy that is in the pipeline and ensure that centers are monitored to ensure quality.
Uganda is a signatory to the global and regional frameworks such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Children, Education for All, SDGs and standards on the rights of the child and therefore mandated to use early childhood development as a platform for ensuring the fulfillment of the rights of children in the country.