On the 5 December 2016, the Delegation of the European Union to Namibia and the National Planning Commission signed a Financing Agreement worth N$ 400 million aimed at supporting Early Childhood Development and Pre-Primary Education in Namibia.
Early Childhood Development and Pre-Primary Education are universally recognised as being beneficial to the subsequent performance of children in basic education programmes. They lay the foundations for acquiring basic literacy and numeracy skills. When well managed, they generate a predisposition for successful school attendance and life-long learning.
In line with its national development plans, the government of the Republic of Namibia works towards improving the conditions for the early stages of children’s development at national level. It has now become a priority in order to reduce the high dropout rate during primary education, to increase retention in grade 1 and to improve overall learners’ academic performance.
The programme will assist the government in these endeavours during the next four years.
The programme will contribute to improving children’s access to Early Childhood Development facilities and/or services, expanding the number of pre-primary classes across the country and augmenting quality of care and teaching at the early stages of education.
The programme was designed in partnership between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and the European Union and it is funded by the 11th European Development Fund.
The programme consists of a non-refundable grant awarded to the government and 90% of the funds will be spent as budget support where annual payments are made by the EU to the government based on the achievement of a number of mutually agreed verifiable indicators that demonstrate the progress and success of the programme.
The remaining 10% of the funds are earmarked for capacity development, with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare being the direct beneficiaries.
The European Union has been a long standing partner of the Government in the Education Sector. It has provided budget support and technical expertise since more than 15 years. EU assistance to the sector has always been complemented by an open and transparent policy dialogue with all stakeholders and this has become a benchmark for similar programmes in the region and beyond.