The Monitor (Kampala)
16 June 2007
Posted to the web 15 June 2007
By John Sserwaniko & Godfrey Seruyange
The government of Uganda has been urged to interest itself with nursery and pre-primary school education. The call was made on Thursday by Minaz Khariman, the chairman of Madrasa Resource Centre, which is a project under the Aga Khan Foundation.
“Early child development is very key to our children’s human and psychological development yet it’s a component that has always not been adequately attended to. Whereas UPE is a commendable effort, it doesn’t adequately address the issue of Early Child Development,” said Mr. Minaz, calling on the government and donor agencies to commit more funding to Early child development programmes.
He also urged the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council to liaise with Madrasa Resource centre (MRC) to ensure that the over one million Muslim children aged between 2-8 years are mobilised to enrol into nursery schools.
Beside the AKF, Usaid and Uphold have been the major funders of the project. The function was meant to celebrate the completion of a collaborative grant the three organisations had injected into MRC activities.
Attended by AKF (Uganda) chairman Ajil Samji and representatives from Uphold and Usaid, the function took place at MRC offices in Mengo.
Mr Minaz used the occasion to correct the widespread perception that the Madrasa schools all over the world targeted only Muslims, saying even non Muslims were free to enrol.
“In fact of the 10,000 children who have gone through the MRC project, a significant number are non-Muslims,” he said. During the same function, certificates for 400 management committee members and 42 teachers from 15 nursery schools were awarded.
Kampala Mayor Nasser Sebaggala, who was the guest of honour, commended AKF for the innovation and promised to use his office to lobby more funding for the project.