Lovy, aged 4, will begin attending preschool this year. He is one of the 200 pre-school children in rural Belalanda, 10 km from Tulear. Lovy will be among the beneficiaries of the construction of a classroom for preschoolers within the Public Primary School (PPS) of his commune. Fasimera Juliette, her mother, was very pleased when she heard the news: “I am delighted to know that my son will finally be able to go to school. It’s hard to sell mangoes with a month-old baby in your arms and another child following you everywhere, “she said, obviously relieved. Abandoned by her husband three years ago, this 36-year-old woman raises her five children alone, of which Lovy is the only son.
The construction project, funded by the Dutch Committee for UNICEF, aims to facilitate the integration of pre-school children into schools in two regions: Atsimo Andrefana and Atsimo Antsinanana, which are among the five poorest regions in Madagascar. Indeed, in these two regions, only one in ten children went to pre-school before entering primary school.
Thus, within the framework of the collaboration between UNICEF and the Ministry of National Education, 32 PPS in rural communes will benefit not only from a classroom for preschools but also from a watering place as well as toilets for the entire community. Teacher training will also be provided to ensure a better quality of pre-school education.
Statistics show the importance of preschool in the child’s educational life. In the municipality of Belalanda, the repetition rate at the level of CP1, which comes immediately after preschool is 12%. This high repetition rate is the result of the absence of preschool, says the Pedagogical Director of the PPS. “Preschool is a fundamental step for the development of children’s capacities, and children from this commune have no access to pre-school “, he said with sadness.