Tanzania: Aga Khan University Empowers Stakeholders With Science Of Early Child Development

By Mutayoba Arbogast,Dodoma,Tanzania

THE AGA KHAN University Institute for Human Development(AKU IHD) in collaboration with  Children in Crossfire  Tanzania have brought together 79 various childhood development stakeholders, for a six day course which started on   4th July at St Gaspar Conference in Dodoma, on Science of Early Child Development(SECD) years 0 to eight, among many things, the  development  of the brain.

The participants are champion journalists, each from all 28 Press Clubs of Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar, ten Regional Development  Officers ,ten Regional Community Development Officers and  ten Non Governmental  Organisations, who at various stances, are implementing the ‘Mtoto Kwanza'(A child, our first priority )project under tripartite of Tanzania Early Childhood Development Network(TECDEN),Children in Crossfire Tanzania(CiC) and Union of Tanzania Press Clubs(UTPC).

The team, with other  child stakeholders  are concerned  to see a five year National Multisectoral Early Childhood Development Programme ,launched in December 2021,which aims at seeing every Tanzania child, is on the right track for growth development, to succeed.

Opening the course whose facilitators  are from AKU IHD the guest of honour, hon. Dr Dorothy Gwajima, Ministry of  Community Development, Women and Special Groups said, Science of  Early Child Development (SECD) course is an International one, which the government  has been longing for a long time, and now that she was  proud  of it to be given out by a renowned  university  in human development.

“Use the skills you will attain to bring changes to a Tanzania young child, so that it grows into a patriotic grown up ready to defend the country  and respond positively to the government”, said Dr Gwajima, pointing out that the rogue  behaviour we see to some youth is because they lacked  good parenting of early childhood development.

He tasked the project to fight and bring down to a halt against violence to children,citing that in 2021,14,119 children were abused.

Statistics from Ministry of Internal Affairs, for the period of January-March 2022,violence crimes reported to police were 21,063,rape cases 19,726,sodomising,3260(males 3,077,females 183),fire burning 198(females 125,males73).

Other cases were about baba dumping 443(females 266,males 177) and beatings 4211( females 4,211,males16)

CiC Tanzania country director, Craig Ferla  appealed to  the government and organisations to contribute to the project to enable the remaining 16 regions whose officers are not included, to be reached.

Joyce Marangu, Human resources manager of Aga Khan University, promised the University cooperation, whenever they are asked for other engagements.


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