Basic Education stakeholders have begun reflecting on strategies to develop the pre-school sector in Cameroon.
A three-day conference to craft result-oriented policies for the pre-school sector has been organized in Yaounde by the Ministry of Basic Education in collaboration with UNICEF.
The conference brought together personnel of the Basic Education Ministry, representatives from the World Bank, Benin, Togo and resource persons from New York and Dakar.
From available statistics at the ministry of Basic Education, there are 3,837 public nursery schools, and 5100 private nursery schools nationwide.
Most of these schools are in urban areas . This explains why government and her partners have undertaken to create more community nursery schools in rural areas.
The officials all agreed that these community nursery schools shall enable children get a good educational foundation.
Participants also posit that for the schools to be effectively managed, the communities must be involved.
Official statistics from the Ministry of Basic Education indicate that during the 2017-2018 school year, only 38% of children of pre- school age were enrolled in nursery schools nationwide.
The figures are particularly low for the Far North and North Regions ( 7.8% and 8.2% respectively).
In conjunction with UNICEF, government aims at raising the figure to 45% in the next two years through the creation of community nursery schools.
The Project to run from 2020-2025 will cost the government over FCFA 45.8 billions .
As discussions continue, experts will examine the challenges faced by the pre-school sector.
Other related issues include
financing, recruitment of qualified teachers and effective nursery school curriculum.
The three-day conference ends on Friday 24th May, 2019.
Kathy Neba Sina