Gender Gender

Child rights NGO challenges presidential candidates on early childhood education

ARTHUR MWANSA, Lusaka
THE Media Network on Child Rights and Development (MNCRD) has urged political players in the forthcoming Presidential election to categorically state how they will implement Early Childhood Care and Development Education (ECCDE) programmes when they are in power.
MNCRD executive director Henry Kabwe says it is disappointed that no Presidential aspirant is clearly stating how they will promote and uphold children’s rights when they are elected into office.
Mr Kabwe said this in an interview on Monday.
Zambia goes to the polls on January 20, 2015 to elect a new President who will succeed late President Michael Sata, who died in London on October 28, 2014.
“We would like to hear these Presidential aspirants broadly talk about key children’s issues during their campaigns. Issues of early childhood education are very cardinal. Adequate resources must be allocated to early childhood education. It is sad that almost all aspirants are mute about children’s rights,” Mr Kabwe said.
Mr Kabwe said Presidential aspirants should also act as role models to young people by conducting peaceful and issue-based campaigns.
“We call upon political parties to co-exist and conduct their political campaigns in a mature manner,” the executive director said.
And a 15-year-old Grade 11 pupil from Lusaka Secondary School said it is sad that none of the Presidential aspirants seems to talk about children’s issues during their campaigns.
Joseph Lungu, a member of the Children’s News Agency (CNA), said it is also disappointing that all political parties seem to concentrate on is the provision of free education as the only factor that affects the wellbeing of children.
“Children are faced with a lot of problems such as maternal health, non-domestication and implementation of United Nations instruments on children’s rights, to which Zambia is a signatory,” Joseph said.

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