Everyone gets ready for preschool - at least for one year before entering primary school
UNICEF introduced a new pre-school initiative ‘CP5’ (Community-based preschool for children aged 5) to ensure all children of Louga and Dagana can access at least one year of pre-primary education
Ibra LO is a farmer, the village chief, just like most parents in Keur Soulaye village. As a father of a pre-school aged child, one of his biggest concerns before going to the field to work was his little son at home. But now, the new initiative in town from last November, CP5(Class Préscolaire pour enfants de 5 ans), eliminated his burden.
"I could not work in peace on the field because I had to care for my young son, who stayed at home. Thanks to CP5, now I can go work in the morning with peace of mind, knowing that my son is secure."
This small town of Mbediene commune with 165 families did not have any pre-primary facility before the initiative CP5; around 40 children aged five or under learn and play safely under adequate supervision and education now.
The goal is to extend the coverage of the pre-primary service to the population, allowing the children to have at least one year of early childhood education at the age of five. The parents are more than happy with this new community-based structure, as their children benefit from the pre-primary education.
"I am proud of our CP5 and my village," said Ibra. "The children, including my son, now practice alphabet and maths. Moreover, they also learn to behave well and socialise. I think it's very important. I'm proud."
He smiled as holding his young son on his lap. Meanwhile, the educator, Khady DIA teaches the alphabet. After her, the kids repeat the alphabet and phrases. Khady was recruited by the commune's local authority and received training to teach in CP5 through the project.
UNICEF is implementing the CP5 initiative in partnership with ANPECTP, MEN and the local governments under the framework of 'the Early Childhood Development Project(2019-2023)', funded by KOICA. The local authorities(communes) supply the learning spaces and bear the cost of the community teachers. UNICEF equips the CP5 and ensures that newly appointed teachers have adequate capacity. In 2021, the initiative opened 62 pre-school structures in Louga and Dagana departments.
On top of the CP5 initiative, UNICEF also conducts other activities to improve the access and quality of pre-primary education in Louga and Saint-Louis regions. For instance: the construction of eight new CTP(Cases des Tout-Petits) with UNOPS, various training for educators and parents, development of new learning materials, and advocacy for early childhood development.