The commitment to Early Childhood Education and the guarantee to continue investing in the functioning of the five Community Schools in Chibuto were also two of the themes analysed during the action.
On the 28th of July, community leaders from 25 de Junho, Chiconelane, Maivene, Malehice and Chaimite, including the Heads of Administrative Posts, the Heads of Localities, the Neighbourhood Secretaries, the directors of Primary Schools, the members of the Community Management Councils of the Schools, the representatives of parents and guardians, the Councillor for Education of the Municipality of Chibuto as well as the President, the Director of the District Service of Education, Youth and Technology and the District Administrator of Chibuto attended the eighth Awareness and Advocacy Action on the Importance of Early Childhood Education, carried out under the project “Educators in Movement – A Travelling Education”. The representatives of parents and guardians attended the eighth Awareness and Advocacy Action on the Importance of Early Childhood Education, held under the project “Educadores em Movimento – Uma Educação Itinerante para a Primeira Infância” (Educators in Motion – An Itinerant Education for Early Childhood) at the Chibuto Open Centre.
The initiative was attended by 60 participants, including 53 members of the aforementioned communities, who gathered to take stock of the Schools since their Pre-Opening, at the end of 2021, until June this year, to analyse the investment made for their creation and operation, to reflect on the importance of Early Childhood Education for the Development of Children and, consequently, for their communities, and also to hear testimonies from Education professionals on the impact this type of pre-school education is already having in these communities, and, consequently, for their communities and, also, to hear testimonies from Education professionals about the impact that this type of pre-school education is already having in these communities and, finally, to debate the issue of its sustainability and management, with a view to finding solutions that allow its continued operation.
As part of the initiative, a training session was held on Early Childhood Development, led by guest speaker Gertrudes Noronha, executive director of the Early Childhood Education Network (RDPI), which brings together more than 40 civil society organisations, and of which AIDGLOBAL is an active member. Gertrudes Noronha recalled that “Early Childhood Education is an extremely important issue in the global political agenda” and made a systematisation of the different phases in which the child develops the most – from the mother’s womb to 8 years of age, already attending Primary School, reinforcing the importance of Early Childhood Education, through attendance of pre-school establishments, such as these, recently created in Chibuto, for the full development of children.
The testimonies of the primary school teacher and the director of the Maivene Primary School were two relevant moments, with concrete examples being presented of how the children who were able to attend the pre-opening period of the Escolinhas, at the end of 2021, distinguished themselves from the others, at the entry of the 1st cycle, highlighting the influence they are having with their families, including teaching them Portuguese vocabulary. Concrete proposals were also presented for the sustainability of the Escolinhas and their integration in the management system of the Primary Schools.
The District Administrator stayed for four hours of work, which culminated with a convivial lunch, and closed the initiative by summarising the main problems presented. He assumed the commitment, before all those present, to overcome them together, and guaranteed that the Escolinhas will continue to function beyond the conclusion of the project that contributed to their creation.
The “Educadores em Movimento” project aims to ensure that at least 40 children in each of the five communities where Chibuto operates use the services of the Itinerant Kindergarten. Currently, more than two hundred attend their Escolinha in 5 communities.
“Educadores em Movimento – Uma Educação Itinerante para a Primeira Infância” (EeM) (Educators in Motion – An Itinerant Education for Early Childhood) has the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation as main sponsor, Camões – Institute for Cooperation and Language I.P. as co-financier, as promoter AIDGLOBAL, Project Manager; as co-promoter the Chibuto Vocational and Residential Center (CVRC) and as partners the Instituto Politécnico de Leiria (Polytechnic Institute of Leiria) (IPL), its scientific-pedagogical coordinator, the Center for International Studies of the University Institute of Lisbon (CEI-Iscte) – coordinator of the anthropological component by District Service for Youth, Education and Technology of Chibuto (SDJET) and District Service for Health, Women and Social Action (SDSMAS) – entities that guarantee the articulation of the project with public policies.