Article

Early Childhood Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

Joseph Agbenyega

in Education

ISBN: 9780199756810
Published online July 2013 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0079
Early Childhood Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Organization and Management of Education
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Economic inequalities and other forms of social deprivation in early childhood are closely linked to lower income and social disadvantage in adulthood. However, studies have shown that investing in early childhood education is a cost-effective strategy that can mitigate childhood disadvantage, producing higher rates of economic return for the individual person, community, and country. Early childhood education leads to cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and moral developmental gains that carry over into later stages of development. Neuroscience research and growing evidence from child development studies, including those that focus on economics and politics, have reinforced the argument that all countries should increase expenditure on early childhood education, paying particular attention to practical and sustainable policies and programs. In developing countries in Africa, there have been many major policy and practical initiatives toward implementing and sustaining quality early childhood education. The promotion of quality early childhood education in Africa, particularly for children who are vulnerable, faces many complex cultural, political, and economic challenges. Negative experiences, such as the exposure to the violence of war, tribal and cultural attitudes, poor quality of teachers, and political instability are some of the persisting factors inhibiting the full realization of quality early childhood education on the continent. In addition, poor environmental conditions, low family income, and chronic corruption in some African states have added to the overwhelming burden of barriers to early childhood development (ECD) and care. Generally, the majority of materials that are included in this article argue for culturally relevant ECD practices in Africa, rather than borrowing practices from elsewhere, which, in many instances, are incompatible with African culture and her peoples.

Article.  7337 words. 

Subjects: Education ; Organization and Management of Education ; Philosophy and Theory of Education ; Schools Studies ; Teaching Skills and Techniques

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