By Manasse Nyirenda:
Parents and caregivers in the area of Traditional Authority Mwahenga in Rumphi District have hailed the importance of community based care centres (CBCCs) on the development and performance of children in primary schools.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency on Tuesday, one of the caregivers at Nkhumano CBCC which has an enrolment of 66 children, Lydia Mbale, said she had noted improved performance of primary school children who have graduated from the centre since 2005.
“Before the opening of this centre, children in this area had no opportunity to attend to CBCC classes and they were not doing well when they enrolled directly in primary schools because they had no education basics.
“Children from CBBCs dominate top positions in primary schools,” said Mbale.
She said as a caregiver, she is always proud because some of the children she started with are now in secondary schools.
According to Mbale, the work is challenging because caregivers are not paid for their work and are never provided with training on child care and other skills by relevant stakeholders.
She, however, commended Save the Children for introducing Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) in the centres, saying the intervention would go a long way in motivating children to be enrolled with CBCCs and reducing caregivers’ work.
According to Rumphi District IRI Officer for Save the Children, Enala Kilembe, the initiative will improve children’s listening skills and lessen the work of caregivers since they will be guided through the radio programmes.