Worlds of Education

Kenya: African unions make early childhood education a top priority

published 29 November 2017 updated 30 November 2017

Leaders from five national education unions in Africa recommended that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Guidelines on Early Childhood Education be elevated to the level of an ILO Recommendation, making it a legally binding document.

This would putearly childhood education (ECE) on the main agenda of national governments and Education International (EI).

Meeting in Nairobi, ECE national coordinators agreed to organise and mobilise ECE personnel in private and public settings and follow up on the implementation of United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on education: “By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education”.

Attendees evaluated a proposed new ECE bill in Kenya, the development of national ECE policy in Tanzania, as well as the mobilisation and recruitment of ECE teachers in private schools in Nigeria. They also reviewed the development of an ECE teachers’ training manual based on the International Labour Organisation’s Guidelines on Promotion of  Decent Work for ECE Personnel in Zambia, and ECE developments in Rwanda.

The participants also showed their support of the “ Tag børnebrillerne på(#putonthechildrensglasses)” campaign of their international partner, the Danish National Federation of Early Childhood and Youth Educators (BUPL), by donning pink sunglasses.


The 2017 meeting was attended by ECE coordinators from the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), the Syndicat des Enseignants et Autres Personnels de l'Education(SYNADUC)/Rwanda, the Tanzania Teachers' Union (TTU), and the Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT). International partners also attended, i.e. BUPL, the Danish Federation of Trade Unions (LO), Danish Confederation of Salaried Employees and Civil Servants (FTF), EI and EI’s regional Africa office.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any official policies or positions of Education International.