Zimbabwe has a shortage of qualified early childhood education teachers. Most teachers in early childhood education classes are paraprofessionals or primary school teachers who have not been trained to cater for the development of toddlers and preschoolers. They also face the challenge of large classes of children with diverse needs. Furthermore, the school leaders have not yet been prepared to support the early childhood education teachers in their schools.
The government of Zimbabwe targets the creation of new early childhood education A and B classes in all primary schools in order to increase the access to education of four- and five-year-olds and universal access to the nine-year primary school curriculum. Therefore, the eleven Primary Teacher Education Colleges are increasing the enrolment of early childhood education student teachers. Moreover, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has the mission to support the education actors to address and respond to the diversity of all learners, through in-service training of early childhood education teachers and school leaders.
The objective of this programme is that teachers and school leaders provide all pupils in early education equal opportunities for improving their further education and future.
- MHTESTD - Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development
- MoPSE - Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education
- TEP - Department for Tertiary Education Programmes (of MHTESTD)
- DISE - Department for Infant School Education (of MoPSE)
- DTE - Department of Teacher Education (of University of Zimbabwe - UZ)
- 11 Primary Teacher Education Colleges
- MoPSE provincial education offices and their district education offices
This programme has three result areas.
- In the first result area, the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology Development; the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education; and the Department of Teacher Education provide strategic support towards teacher development and school leadership for Inclusive Early Education.
- VVOB also strengthens the Teacher Education Colleges to train early education teachers for an inclusive learning environment, ensuring they have the attitudes, skills and knowledge to deal with diversity in their classrooms. Special attention goes to early identification and planning for learning needs, speech and language development, teaching strategies, classroom management, teaching and learning material, community and parental involvement, student support and teaching practice.
- In the third result area, VVOB strengthens the Department for Infant School Education to increase its capacity to provide further training for early education school leaders and teachers in 400 schools in ten districts. The support focuses on inclusive early childhood education, with special attention to attitudes, skills and knowledge on identifying and dealing with children with diverse learning needs.