Promoting children's sustainable access to early schooling in africa: reflections on the roles of parents in their children's early childhood care and education

Document Type



Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Sub-Saharan Africa has predominantly rural populations unable to offer children sustainable access to early literacy and childhood care and education. Children's literacy development starts very early in life through participation and experiences in the home and preschool. My research in rural Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania shows that the transition from home to school is compromised by acute barriers such as lack of parental participation, lack of encouragement and support from teachers, and unavailability of learning materials. However, rural homes and communities are well endowed with a stock of practices, knowledge, and skills relevant to the promotion of literacy development. In this chapter, I reflect on how to empower parents to draw on knowledge and resources within the local context to become better involved in their children's education while also empowering teachers to better recognize and take advantage of local knowledge and resources to enrich instruction and enhance meaningful learning.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Child development in Africa: Views from inside. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development