NEBBI. The Assistant Education Commissioner in the Ministry of Education and Sports Mr Ibrahim Bigabwa has appealed to local leaders in Nebbi district to strengthen the parental embrace and understand Early Childhood Development (ECDs) services if the communities are to enhance holistic child development.

While addressing Nebbi district officials during the orientation and dissemination of national Integrated Early Childhood Development policy (IECD) on Monday at GAF conference hall, Bigabwa noted that as a district, if the society is to prosper in the future, active engagements and empowering of families and communities to participate and own ECD activities should be key in the district agenda.

“The children are future generation and if given the opportunity to develop intellectually, socially, emotionally and morally through a good beginning, then this country will have better leaders”, he noted.

A senior inspector of schools in the Ministry of Education and Sports Mr Chris Magezi noted that the district should enhance the participation of civil society, private sector and development partners in the implementation of Early Childhood Development Programs in the communities.

“The government cannot set up ECDs everywhere but we encourage private partnership and as a district, you should support people who are putting up ECDs so that more children can go to school early enough”, he added.

Mr Rogers Golooba, a commissioner in the Ministry of Gender Labor Social Development said increased awareness and behavior change among parents, families, and communities on ECD is still wanting in the community and a lot of sensitization still needs to be done.

“People still think that education is free and taking your child to an ECD is a waste of money because they believe that they should go to school at the age of six and this perception needs to change,” he said.

He said parents and communities should adopt and uphold ECD services in their communities to promote children’s rights, interests to survival, development, protection, and participation without discrimination.