NAIROBI, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The inaugural African conference on early childhood education ended in Nairobi on Friday with delegates endorsing a communique to promote numeracy and literacy skills among the continent's young ones.
Kenya hosted the first conference on early childhood education in Africa that was attended by about 4000 delegates from 48 countries in the continent with the aim to explore innovative measures required to transform pre-primary school education and help meet the future manpower needs.
The three-day conference whose theme was "The Africa We Want: A Better Future Now" resolved to place early childhood learning at the heart of the continent's socio-economic transformation agenda.
"We reaffirm that early years present a time of great opportunity and are decisive for human development. Realizing Africa's potential depends on investments in education for the continent's children and youth," the delegates said.
They stressed the need for governments to address policy, infrastructural and human resources gaps that have slowed down realization of universal pre-primary school enrollment in Africa.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta opened the first African early childhood education forum with a call for a paradigm shift in order to boost intellectual, social and emotional development of young ones.
Kenyatta challenged African states to harmonize policies and share best practice in order to revitalize early childhood education that is key to realizing progress.
Delegates noted that access to quality early childhood education is key to the realization of Africa's agenda 2063 agenda on growth, transformation and stability.
"We call upon African states to prioritize early childhood learning expenditure in their national budgets. They should provide incentives that can attract talented workforce in the pre-primary school learning facilities,"delegates said.
The inaugural African early childhood education conference urged countries to invest in health, nutrition, clean water and sanitation that are key to boosting cognitive abilities among children below five years.
Delegates said implementation of curriculum reforms is key to realigning early childhood learning with evolving demands in the labor market.