Kalanda retiring soon
* He facilitated in the development of prototype designs for early childhood development centres
* He was also lauded for restructuring of the ECD curriculum/syllabus
* And getting an approval from the World Bank for the IEYP within two years
By Duncan Mlanjira, Maravi Express & Robert Maloya, MANA
At the launch of National Early Child Development (ECD) advocacy week long-serving Director of Child Affairs, McKnight Kalanda — who is set for retirement — was honoured by Minister of Gender, Community Development & Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati for his outstanding contribution and devotion in his long service.
Kalanda was honoured alongside 20 child caregivers from across the country at the launch held at Mbombwe Primary School in Chiradzulu on Monday.
His impeccable resume — cited by colleagues in the Ministry — include serving as director of child Affairs since 2007 in which having facilitated in the development of prototype designs for early childhood development centres and also the review of ECD Policy in 2006.
He was also lauded for restructuring of the ECD curriculum/syllabus and getting an approval from the World Bank for the IEYP within two years.
He also was in the forefront in the leadership for the implementation of IEYP as well as signing of memorandum of Understanding with RFF for the implementation of School Readness Initiative.
He was also the pioneer of construction of community based child care (CBCC) through ORT since 2014 to date in which he set up guidelines for such construction.
From September 2000 to July 2007, he was deputy director of basic education before being elevated to full director July 2007 to January 2013.
He was also applauded for his continued lobby for incentives for child caregivers and after honouring Kalanda, Kaliati went on to award 20 caregivers from across the country — selected from Karonga, Ntcheu, Machinga, Lilongwe and Chiradzulu — for their hard work towards the promotion of early childhood development.
Kaliati commended the caregivers for their hard work and encouraged them to even work harder to help make ECDs successful in their respective communities.
“Let me congratulate you, ladies and gentlemen for your hard work,” she said. “The country needs people like you who are persistent and passionate.
“Despite receiving small honoraria, you still put that much effort to make this job a success,” she said, adding that there was need to train and employ more care givers, who have MSCE qualifications to be able to be incorporated in the government payroll.
One of the caregivers, Alex John of Namatikha community based child centre in Chiradzulu, said he was very happy with the awards, saying it was a motivation.
The awards contained gold medals and parcels, which were supplied by Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) — one of the Ministry early childhood development partners.