The Children’s Hut
UNICEF’s latest data on Senegalese’s early childhood education indicates that attendance in early education is at 22%, gross enrollment ration (GER) in pre-primary education is at 15%. The net attendance ratio (NER) in primary education is 64%, and the proportion of out-of-school children of primary education is 21%. The proportion of children starting 1st grade and attaining 5th grade is 61%. The country’s literacy rate of 15 – 24 years old is 66% (https://data.unicef.org/country/sen). A 2015-2016 educational survey was conducted by UNICEF but the data is not yet available.
Senegal’s pre-school establishments are divided into four categories: Children’s Huts, Community Centers, public-run kindergartens, and private kindergartens/nurseries. The government has made efforts since 2000 to introduce the creation of new pre-school establishments, and national development policies for infants. Education of a country’s populace is dependent on the monetary stability of that country, and even though Senegal is a stable democratic country, a devaluation of its currency Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) in 1994 resulted in an increase of commodities’ prices. Additionally, the increase in oil prices over the years have also led to the government’s inability to accomplish its goals of increasing the quantity of pre-school education establishments (Tanabe 1998: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan 2013a).
The focus here is on the Children’s Huts which was introduced to Senegal in 2000, and offers a holistic approach to pre-school education. The emphasis is on infant education, nutritional management, and health and hygiene. The Children’s Huts, known as La Case de Tout-Petite (CTP), were established in response to the country’s newly adopted Early Childhood Care and Education Policies (ECCEP). They are run on a community basis and enroll children from newborns to age six. The goals were to improve pre-and primary education rates, and to make primary education available to all (www.childresearch.net/projects/ecec/2014_02.html).
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (2013a), Basic Data of the Republic of Senegal.