Early Childhood Education Leaves a Lasting Impact
Eighty-five percent of the human brain is developed by the time a person is five years old. Early childhood education is one of the most neglected areas in Ethiopia, with an enrollment rate of about three percent (as of 2007). Children are being kept at home rather than being placed in a stimulating learning environment for a number of reasons, but mainly due to the lack of available opportunities and resources. Because of this, they are falling behind in primary school and not developing the necessary skills to succeed.
Children raised in poverty complete far less school than middle class children and often perform at much lower levels. The opportunity for these children to have an equal playing field starts at a very young age, when their brains are developing most rapidly and physical, cognitive, linguistic, and emotional development is taking place.
Early childhood education is the first step to breaking the cycle of poverty. Although it may seem far removed, consider this: Children that receive a high quality early education are less likely to fall behind in school and are far less likely to drop out. In order to increase a child’s chance for success, it is crucial that they are allowed the opportunity to participate in a program that will support their development.
Seeds of Africa recognizes the potential of a young mind. With innovative pre-school, kindergarten, and after-school programs, children are encouraged to solve problems creatively and to think outside of the box. By allowing these children to develop the most basic skills at such a young age, they are building a foundation on which they can continue to grow, thrive, and succeed.
The future of Ethiopia is in the hands of its children. Seeds of Africa and other early education programs alike are offering young children a more promising future. With a continuous desire to learn and a strong educational backing, today’s students are on the path to becoming tomorrow’s leaders.