MADRASA RESOURCE CENTRE
- MAKING A DIFFERENCE !
.EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
SPECIAL REPORT BY PETER MWAURA - LEAD RESEARCHER
FOR MADRASA REGIONAL RESEARCH PROGRAMME
Coastweek - - Like the children's rhyme that says "you are a
shining little star, who has made you what you are?" so did
I enquire from Naima Shatry about what has made her what she
Naima Shatry is one of the first Madrasa Resource Centre
preschool graduates in the late 80s, now taking her Bachelor
of Medicine from the University of Nairobi.
According to Naima and with a lot of excitement showing on
her face she is quick to say that her success in both
academic and social life is founded in her preschool
experience at Liwatoni.
Liwatoni is one of the first preschools established by the
Madrasa Resource Centre early childhood programme in the
The most significant impact of a preschool programme is the
extent to which it gives a quality foundation for long term
growth and development.
Naima is one of the many graduates of the Madrasa Resource
Centre preschools graduates who in my interview with her
confirms what has been found through Madrasa Resource Centre
Impact Research (MRCIR) and other studies that the quality
of a preschool programme makes a long term impact on the
growth and development of children and that the most
important aspect of quality in a preschool is the
Naima's story is like a response to one of the Madrasa
Resource Centre national chairmen who during my interview
with him asserted that:
"MRC is like a mustered seed that grew into a big tree.
In 20 years time we would want to hear children proclaim
that their life was shaped by MRC.
MRC has taken the developmental opportunity to the doorsteps
of the community to enable the marginalized to say, "we
MRC have contributed immensely to this formation.
And it is a reality not an experiment" (Mwaura 2003).
Madrasa Resource Centre Early Childhood programme in East
Africa is a shining example of a programme producing young
children "shinning stars" at preschool level and beyond.
Madrasa Resource Centre is an early childhood development
programme that was initiated in the mid 80s to facilitate
the establishment of quality, affordable, culturally
appropriate and sustainable community-based early childhood
development and education centres among the low social
economic Muslim communities.
Its initiation was a response to the East African Muslim
community's concern to have their children well grounded in
their faith and local culture while also increasing their
readiness for, access to, and success in later schooling.
Prior to establishment of the Madrasa Resource Centre
programme Muslim children in East Africa were a
They lacked access to quality and culturally appropriate
mainstream education right from the preschool to university
This created a vicious cycle whereby many children did not
enter into high performing schools for lack of preschool
opportunities, consequently finding themselves in poor
secondary school reducing their opportunity for University
and training colleges and thus employment opportunities.
Lack of access to appropriately quality preschools for the
Muslim children made many children not attend secular
preschools and those that attended secular preschool went to
Christian sponsored ones in the morning and the traditional
Quranic School later in the day leaving little time for
leisure and play.
Exposure to two different curriculum orientation one being
Christianity oriented and the other one Islamic become a
source of cognitive, social and spiritual dissonance.
This state of Muslim being educationally disadvantaged has a
historical root to it.
According to Brown and Sumura evaluation report (1999)
western education was introduced in East Africa by Christian
missionaries in the late 19th century and the motive was,
apart from giving reading and writing skills, to convert
people to Christianity.
By the time Christian missionaries came to East Africa,
Islam had spread to the coastal areas of East Africa, mainly
through the activities of traders from the Middle East.
Missionary attempts at converting people through education
came in to conflict with the already established Quranic
schools along the coast of East Africa.
So the western education was not readily embraced and the
issue of concern to majority of Muslim communities, not only
in East Africa but also in other parts of the world as well
is how to get access to western education without
compromising their values and identity.
In 1965, the Government of Kenya had noted through Ominde
Education Commission that the Muslims were educationally
The report said in part:
" We found that the major religions notably Christianity and
Islam, regarded the very educational process as one-sided
and incomplete, unless informed with the spirit, values and
the standards of religion ...
We strongly recommend the formation of a comparable Muslim
body, based in Mombasa, to exercise the rights and duties of
sponsorship in schools in the Muslim community ...
Whereas education that has spread elsewhere in Kenya under
Christian auspices has assumed a secular form, Islamic
education is wholly centred in Islam as a religion and a
social and cultural system.
The idea of religious instructions being one of many
subjects in a secular school is thus foreign to the
traditional Muslim outlook ...
The need for secular education was clearly recognised, as
was also the danger that a neglect of it would increasingly
place Muslim at a disadvantage in meeting the demands of a
What was wrong with secular education was that it was not
good enough (Ominde Report 1965 P34-36).
By early 80s some members of the Muslim communities had
noted this sequence of educational and occupational
disadvantages and were willing to do something about it.
There was a clear realisation that the foundation of better
performance in school and access to University and training
colleges and eventual opportunities in the labour market
lies in having quality early childhood development
They had the will and the willpower to do something about it
but despite the willingness to face the challenges, the
community did not have adequate financial resources and
skills to do so.
Some members of the Muslim community therefore approached
His Highness the Aga Khan through the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF)
East Africa to assist in establishing a programme (MRC)
which would facilitate in the establishment of integrated
and quality preschools within the under-resourced Muslim
This gave rise to the birth of the Madarasa Resource Centre
Early Childhood Development programme in 1986 in Kenya.
Having noted the community problem, identified the
appropriate strategy and approach towards facing up the
problem, and having identified Aga Khan Foundation(AKF) as a
willing funder and partner the ball started rolling faster.
A survey was undertaken in the early 80s involving 75
This survey found that Most of the traditional Madrasas had
permanent buildings, that they had water storage and changed
minimal fee for the attendance.
also found that there was space in most of the traditional
Madrasa for play.
They found in general that the physical resources existed
that would appropriately be used for launching the
integrated early childhood programme.
What was lacking is the training in child appropriate
methods and the enrichment of the space in and outside the
classroom with teaching, learning and play materials.
A group of seven persons went round the mosques and
traditional Madrasas sensitizing them on the need for
preschools that would integrate both secular and Islamic
A programme director (Bi Swafiya Said) was employed and soon
after sponsored to go to India for orientation.
In consultation with Judith Evan who was by then the
Education programme officer in AKF Geneva, the programme
officer was facilitated to attend high scope curriculum
course in UK.
She (Judith Evans) also directly tutored the programme
director in the early childhood approaches not to mention
donating reading and teaching materials.
A National committee was formed which came up with the
objectives of Madrasa Resource Centre as
• establishing preschools
• developing an integrated curriculum and
• increasing access and enrolment in primary schools.
The programme director with the help of some members of the
national board developed an integrated curriculum which was
published in 1990.
In the same year 1990 a tracer's study was commissioned
by AKF to trace the impact of the integrated Madrasa
intervention on the later school success of Muslim children.
This study found among other things that The MRC graduates
were consistently ranked among the top pupils in standard
one and generally fell in the upper 20 per cent in the
subsequent classes up to standard four.
• the client of the programme came from the under-resourced
among the Muslims,
• the need for the integration of Islamic and cultural
education with the secular education,
• the need for child appropriate approaches to learning,
• the expected product in terms of child development, and
• the need to have preschools that will be technically,
organisationally and financially sustainable, it was
The cost of establishing and equipping the community ECD
centres had to be strategically minimised.
The cost-effective strategy taken was of developing play and
teaching and learning equipments and aids from locally
available materials, the use of the community resources and
manpower in both constructing the school classes, equipments
and resourcing the classrooms.
The children's learning deficiencies characterizing low
social economic backgrounds signalled the choice of an
enriching child-centered curriculum geared towards assisting
the children develop healthy personality and skill relating
on learning how to learn while preparing them for the
subsequent school levels.
This curriculum was found not only suitable for the children
of low social economic status background but was also easy
to adapt and was quite appropriate in meeting the needs of
child centred methods.
The curriculum methods were suitable for the integrated
cultural-religious and secular education and having
community development unit that will deal with the
sensitization of the community on the importance of early
childhood education and the need for volunteerism in centre
development and therefore mobilize them towards the goal.
The operational framework was therefore guided by the nature
of the micro and macro environment context in which the
Muslim child was living and the developmental and
behavioural expectation of the child.
These considerations therefore became the guiding posts to
the operational philosophy of the programme, its curriculum
content, the teaching strategies, the management styles, the
teacher child interaction, problem solving methods, and the
assessment and evaluation procedures.
It introduced a model for quality community-based early
childhood education, which is cost effective; appropriate to
the local context; and technically, organizationally, and
The strategy was to initiate an effective, community-based,
low cost approach to early childhood education, which
promotes educational excellence in Muslim children from low
In other words the program aimed at supporting the low
social economic status communities in accessing quality,
culture appropriate and affordable education to their
These changes were effected in 1996 through a regional
• teacher training and mentoring unit; which was concerned
with the training and provision of technical support to the
pre-school teachers and other stakeholders and beneficiaries
• the community development unit engaged with the area of
social marketing in the community, sensitising and educating
them and mobilizing them towards provision of quality early
childhood education and care.
Through Madrasa Resource Centre programme teachers are
trained and communities sensitised, educated and mobilized.
Schools are supported in creating an effective management
structure and to provide a quality teaching and learning
environment for the children.
The curriculum was designed to be more friendly and centred,
and the training became more field-centred and experiential
Greater emphasis was placed on community participation and
More trainers and community development officers were
employed and given intensive training on the relevant
methods and techniques.
An internal system of monitoring and evaluation based on
staff and community negotiation was also designed.
All this was done with a commitment to ensuring technical,
organizational and financial sustainability of the preschool
centers established by the communities.
The child focus became more holistic and integrated, the
curriculum became more child friendly and centered, the
training became more field centred and experiential than
centre based as was the case before, there was greater
emphasis on community participation and ownership of the
programme and this gave rise to the need for more community
mobilization and empowerment activities.
Community development officers and more trainers were
employed and given intensive training on the new child
friendly, active learning and integrated approaches and an
internal system of monitoring and evaluation, which involved
the community, was also put in place.
In 1998 a research unit was established in the Regional
The Madrasa Regional Research programme (MRRP) was initiated
to assist in finding out the impact of the Madrasa resource
centre on the primary beneficiaries as well as building a
sustainable capacity on the staff on the monitoring,
evaluation and research skills.
It also aims at creating analysis-friendly management
information systems that will enable Madrasa Resource Centre
to create a systematic data base which could be used not
only for the institutional monitoring, evaluation and
research but also for the management decision making process
and future researches.
At preschool level the activity cycle starts with the
community development officers (CDOs) identifying a
community through need assessment strategies.
Through community opinion and religious leaders the
community is called for a meeting where they are sensitized
on the importance of quality early year's development, the
need for quality preschool and the facilitating activities
of Madrasa Resource Centre programme.
In the community sensitisation workshops the MRC staff use
participatory methods to have the community identify their
various educational needs and strategies of solving the
In these workshops information on the values of children,
importance of educating children, roles and responsibilities
of parents and communities to children, benefits of
educating children both to the child and the community, when
education starts, ways in which children develop, and the
effects of not providing to the needs of children.
Meanwhile the communities will have their own meetings
organised by the Mosque committees to reflect on the content
of the community awareness workshops in relation to their
needs and the appropriate strategies towards solving the
problems relating to the children.
Having accepted that education and particularly preschool
education is critical in their problem solving options, a
workshop is arranged whereby they discuss the preschool
strategy which includes identifying or establishing
preschool structures, personnel, and election of the school
management committee (SMC), setting the terms of the elected
SMC and the teachers with the help of the Madrasa Resource
They also discuss on what they want their children to learn
and to be.
The process is also meant to activate commitment and
willingness of the community in establishing quality
preschool in the area.
Right from the contact stage the communities are made to
understand that they own the programme and Madrasa Resource
Centre comes with a pivotal role.
But what does ownership of the project signify in relation
to monitoring and evaluation ?
Beyond the short-term goals of sensitisation and
mobilisation the process is aimed at creating a corporate
power base comprised of people conscious of their individual
and communal needs, responsibilities and sustainable
strategies of meeting them.
In other words the process establishing community owned
preschools is also targeted towards awakening the
community's consciousness into the existing community
problems and their responsibility and ability to intervene,
to promote participation of the community in the
interventional process, to develop indigenous capacity in
relation to knowledge, practice and skills; and to encourage
In a nutshell the process is designed to ensure
sustainability of the programme technically,
organisationally and financially.
The implementation phase involves among other things the
constructing of classrooms and other crucial structures
necessary for quality teaching and learning environment;
training and mentoring of teachers; and training and
supporting the school management commitees.
After a period of two to three years of intensive support,
monitoring and evaluation the preschool graduates.
The graduation phase involves evaluating the programme in
relation to the extent to which the schools have satisfied
the community involvement, teaching and learning environment
and management criteria set in the contract.
It is a validation mechanism that the schools are at a level
of quality, with a management and financial systems that
will ensure the sustainability of the school technically,
financially and organisationally.
The whole system of monitoring and evaluation that has been
created in the Madrasa Resource Centre programme is geared
towards ensuring that the school achieve sustainable high
quality teaching and learning environment and practice;
effective management and financial systems so as to ensure
the maximum effect on the physical, intellectual and
personality development of the preschool children now and in
After graduation the preschool is free to join the
Association of graduated preschool (GA).
The post-graduation phase involves giving support to the
teachers and the community of the graduated schools.
This may be in terms of mentoring, giving an in-service
course to the teachers or further training of the school
management committees and/ or the Madrasa Resource Centre
graduated school association.
In Mombasa the project started with one school and expanded
to 15 by 1990.
Given the promising results and the growing demand for it,
AKF and the Madrasa Resource Centre felt that the idea might
work elsewhere in East Africa.
Exchange visits and discussions with local Muslim leaders in
Zanzibar and later in Uganda led to the establishment of new
In 1990 the Zanzibar MRC started operating and within a few
years was working with 14 communities.
The program moved to Uganda in 1994 and began to work with
handful of communities there.
Currently the project is supporting 153 pre-schools,
graduate close to 20000 preschool children and trained more
than 6000 teachers in its long, medium and short courses
Primary beneficiaries of Madrasa Resource Centre:
Number of preschools contacted
Number of school graduated
Number of children graduated
Number of children enrolled in MRC preschool in 2005
Percentage of girls enrolled in 2005
Number of MRC teachers trained in two year course
Number of other teachers trained in one year course
Number of other teachers trained short course
Number of SMC trained and in training
Quantitative and qualitative studies undertaken at the
Madrasa Resource Centre programme indicates that:
Compared to other normative preschool programmes existing in
East Africa, Madrasa Resource Centre preschool children
enjoy a better learning environment.
The Madrasa Resource Centre preschool were found to be
better in all the aspects of the environment and
significantly better in 73 per cent of the environmental
dimensions assessed through the Early Childhood Environment
Rating Scale (ECERS
The human interaction between the adults and the children is
much better in the Madrasa Resource Centre preschools than
the other preschools in East Africa.
The value added in the intellectual development of the
children has been found to be significantly higher for the
Madrasa Resource Centre preschoolers than either those who
do not attend preschool or those that attend other preschool
in East Africa.
Madrasa Resource Centre preschool children had a margin of
42 per cent higher value-added mean scores against the home
Also children from Madrasa Resource Centre end up performing
better in school as compared to other children either from
home or from other normative preschools.
There were more children from Madrasa Resource Centre
preschool who were in the upper half of the class in the
examination performance compared to other children from home
(with no preschool experience) or those from other
Their superior performance is notable right from the time
they take primary school admission interviews.
They are said to perform much better than other children.
The divergence between preschool children intellectual
performance and the home (those who do not attend preschool)
children was found to show as early as sixty day of
preschool experience and at preschool girls were relatively
but not significantly better than boys in the intellectual
performance but there were significantly more girls in the
upper half of examination score distribution than boys in
all the first four grades of primary school.
While more data collection and analysis is required on the
retention rate of preschool and home children, the initial
analysis indicate a higher rate of retention of preschool
experience children in school system than those who did not
It is clear that the process of establishing pre-schools in
communities has unleashed forces within communities for
change in these societies.
It has pitted forces for change against forces for
There has been a great growth and development in women
through training and through the Madrasa Resource Centre
policy of ensuring women participation in all areas of
It is well noted that the training for example changes the
teachers from shy human beings to confident, self
expressive, creative and community participating persons
The success of Madrasa Resource Centre programme is also be
exemplified by the fact that;
• more and more non-Muslim children are joining the
• many of the communities in all the three countries were
planning to start primary schools that offered integrated
• a number of teachers are being 'poached' to teacher in
• a number of Madrasa-trained teachers have started their
own pre-primary schools that used active-learning approach
• the programme started with a reaching-out-to-community
strategy which has now changed to community reaching out to
Madrasa Resource Centre for the services
• the programme is now a major player in the development and
implementation of national policy systems.
The programme has been consulted not only by the government
but also non-government agencies in areas pertaining to
community mobilisation, training for early childhood
development, development of policy documents, development of
teaching and learning materials and development of
curriculum and monitoring and evaluation documents in early
The programme visibility beyond the East Africa regional can
also be noted from the fact that countries like Mozambique
and some West Africa countries have sought assistance from
the programme in establishing similar programme in their
Internally the programme products including the Madrasa
Evaluation Instrument (MEI), the integrated curriculum,
training documents and teaching and learning materials
development process documents are themselves indicators of
effective early childhood programme process.
There are many lessons we can draw from Madrasa Resource
Centre on operational and management effectiveness.
These lessons include:
• That the starting point of programme effectiveness is the
readiness platform in which the project is initiated.
This platform is defined by the existence of a policy,
willpower, and general conscience at local and national
level on the issue of intervention.
Readiness is also characterized by the community's ability
to identify not only their problems but also their strengths
and weakness, and the long term benefit that would accrue to
the potential intervention.
It is important that there exists in the community a general
level of consciousness on the needs and a level of willpower
that gives inertia towards seeking an interventional
The awareness of existing options of reference in the
community is also an added attribute of readiness.
• That the entry process is crucial and requires strategic
This involves thinking not only on the pathway towards the
intended subjects of intervention, but also the personality
of the person taking the pathway, and the attitude of the
persons in which the intervention is to take place.
Madrasa Resource Centre staff identified a clear path of
entry to the communities.
They identified the mosque committee (MC) as the link
between Madrasa Resource Centre and the communities.
The spiritual respect given to the members of the Mosque by
the communities facilitates a smooth entry to the community
but not without resistance.
But the person who initiated it (Bi Swafiya) was a person of
integrity resulting from her personality and family
The effectiveness of the programme therefore partly emanates
from the effectiveness and the respect accorded to the
initiator by the community before the project initiation.
Therefore the knowledge and the attitude of the community on
the initiator of the project and the kind of person he or
she is quite important in creating a condition of
• That it is important to take time to study the context in
which the problem of invention exists so as to guide the
strategies and activities of the programme appropriately.
MRC operational framework was based on the social
conditions, strengths, values and expressed needs of the
The idea of having an affordable low cost programme at least
at the preschool level with an active learning curriculum
and the integration of religious and cultural aspects with
the secular education was very important in having the
communities accept, support and claim ownership of the
program emphasizes the use of low-cost, locally available
indigenous material, and promotes activities that integrate
local motifs and narratives from oral as well as written
These components ensure that pre-school education is
economically, socially, and culturally sensible, accessible
and appropriate particularly at a time when pre-schools are
seen as expensive initiatives.
• A programme structure must embrace all the crucial
operational and management dimensions of activities.
In the operational structure it is important to ensure that
it includes the quality management operations, quality
assurance and quality control operations.
Madrasa Resource Centre operations includes community
sensitization, mobilization and empowerment manned by the
community development officers; the training and mentoring
operations manned by the trainers and the monitoring and
evaluation unit headed by a monitoring, evaluation and
research liaison officer (MERLO).
This structure is linked to the national and regional policy
bodies, the national board and the regional committee, which
is a quality assurance unit.
They assure quality through the policies and provision of
the required guidance and resources.
The MERLO and the researcher form the quality control wing
of the programme while the trainers and the community
development officers are the quality management group.
• The organization of the operational structures should be
in such a way that their relationships create a sense of
positive competition among them.
In Madrasa Resource Centre each country has a national board
headed by a chairman.
At country level, Madrasa Resource Centre is headed by a
programme director and each school has a Community
Development Officer (CDO) and a trainer in charge.
Meeting are arranged at all these level for all the groups
in the three countries.
This arrangement has created a sense of positive competition
each of them wanting to do the best for the community and
sharing all the operational innovations from each country.
One feels the sense of competition and sharing at all levels
right from the regional to the preschool level.
Therefore the regionalisation of the programme with each
country having a national board, programme director, lead
CDO and Trainer and the coupling of trainers and CDO for the
mentoring and support of the communities in each school not
to mention the frequent exchange programmes has created a
very positive competition as well as a sense of sharing at
the regional and local levels.
• That for effectiveness a programme requires a simple but
comprehensive system of monitoring and evaluation,
reflective and feedback system that takes into account all
the dimensions and elements of the operations and all the
beneficiaries and stakeholders at all levels.
This system must involve all the stakeholder and
beneficiaries in the assessment excise and the assessment
should be organised as a capacity building and development
The communication and feedback system should be horizontally
flat and vertically a bottom-up-bottom communication based
on the knowledge that each staff can give a contribution to
Madrasa Resource Centre places a strong emphasis on
reflective practices through integrated and participatory
monitoring and evaluation.
• That a system of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, at an
individual and community level must be defined and
actualised by the programme.
Madrasa Resource Centre has endeavoured to instill the
spirit of unity, hard work and volunteerism for community
It operates under the human and spiritual philosophy of
service to Allah and community, which forms the mystique
behind the individual and community active participation in
The concept of school graduation also gives a corporate
psychological motivation to the communities to work hard in
the provision of early childhood education resources to the
It also gives a sense of competition and accomplishment.
The spiritual satisfaction is the programme carrier factor.
The programme has created a sense of mutual complement,
responsibility and accountability, to each other in the
service delivery, which in turn creates a sense of
self-motivation and a process of effectiveness.
• That it is important to define the donor-programme
relationship right at the initiation level with the
relationship taking more than just provision of funds to a
A more friendly, guidance relation than the supervisory
relationship should be built between the funding agent and
The Aga Khan Foundation while retaining its donor status
also gives crucial guidance to the programme as well as
freedom for the implementers to decide on their activities.
• That effectiveness does not necessarily mean
challenge-free growth and development.
Challenges are part of the effectiveness dynamics.
What is important is the way these dynamics are perceive by
the staff and the community.
Madrasa Resource Centre faces a lot of challenges but as one
of the staff did mention, they don't think of problems as
problems but as challenges, the reason being that challenges
• That the dynamics of effectiveness must be based on three
important programmatic systems.
These are quality assurance, quality control and quality
of the systems must be effective at individual level but
also effective at corporate level with each of the system
being accountable to the performance of the other.
• That the strength of a programme lies on the personnel and
the strength and participation of the stakeholders and
Great deals of effort and resource have to go in building
the human capital.
The recruitment of the personnel must be done carefully in
order to get the right person for the right job.
The qualification should go beyond the academic
qualification for the personality, attitude and visions may
be more important.
After hiring the persons must be inducted not only to the
content but also to the heritage and culture of the
Madrasa Resource Centre community including the staff,
teachers, programme and school management committee are
inducted into appreciating working for children even when it
means working for long hours under difficult conditions.
But care is taken to provide them with enabling resources
and environment including training.
It is from this process of empowerment that Waithaka (1999)
observed the human products and reported that:
"The three MRCs are well staffed with appropriate calibre of
staff that are generally enthusiastic about their work and
are sufficiently knowledgeable about the target communities
educational, social economic, cultural and political
They appear to have the right attitudes towards and are
empathetic with the target communities" P16
• Processes in a programme evolve over a period of time.
In Madrasa Resource Centre perfection of such processes as
mobilising communities, monitor and evaluating pre-schools
have all developed over time.
It is important to allow room for trying and sharing novel
and innovative ideas.
• That integration in a programme must be seen from content
and contextual perspectives.
The content integration at Madrasa Resource Centre is viewed
in terms of the integrated curriculum which combines not
only secular and religious and cultural education but it is
also integrated in terms of delivering a whole package of
developmental needs such education, food, health, moral and
The contextual integration can be seen in terms of it
coverage of the main programme stakeholders not just in
relation to what they bring to the programme but also in
what they benefit directly or indirectly from the programme.
The programme activities include sensitizing, mobilizing,
training, monitoring and mentoring and evaluation.
The programme is therefore integrated in its programme
cycle. Integration can also be seen in terms of its
management system whereby every aspect right from the policy
to the implementation is integrated in communication and
There is a vertical bottom-up-bottom and horizontally flat
• That the policy, operational and managerial effectiveness
should be assessed in relation to the human product arising
from the process.
Defining the primary beneficiary of a preschool programme as
the child, the programme process must be seen to impact
positively on the child growth and development.
The most important part of this process is the quality of
The programme must invest in building the human capital not
only in relation to training but also in the general area of
There is need to institutionalize a working philosophy which
mobilises the programme community towards programme
accountability to all, by all for all in all.
The programme must also be seen to have sustainable impact
on the participating community in general particularly in
their conscience of existence of needs, availability of
internal resources and ability to tackle their own
• That an intervention well planned, executed, monitored and
evaluated should have the lessons and the process of
effectiveness well documented and shared with the rest of
Through sharing of these lessons Madrasa Resource Centre
became visible within and beyond the region and this
visibility has enabled its contribution at government and
non-government policy and implementation levels.
In conclusion I join others before me who have very well
noted that Madrasa Resource Centre Early Childhood Programme
in East Africa has, in a sure, systematic and committed way,
• Children learning in a quality preschool can demonstrably
benefit at preschool and beyond.
• Paraprofessionals can be adequately equipped to deliver
quality interventions in low-income settings.
• Very poor communities can be empowered to invest time and
resources in school provision and maintenance.
• Preschools can be sustained over time without need of
ongoing donor supports.
• Even very poor communities have strengths that can be
mobilized for the welfare of the whole community.
• Preschool models can be designed to address specific
cultural and religious needs of a group and be appropriately
adapted for that population or for populations that are very
diverse in cultural and religious backgrounds.
• Well thought of preschool programmes with well thought
operational strategies can impact on the policy and delivery
systems at national and local levels to improve the
appropriateness, quality and integration of programmes and
services for young children.
 Brown G. J. & S. Sumura (1999). The East Africa Madrasa
Programme: The Madrasa Resource Centres and their
community-based preschool programme. Geneva: The Aga Khan
 GOK (1965). Kenya Education Commission Report. Nairobi:
 Wamahiu, S. P (1995). The impact of the integrated
Madrasa-Nursery intervention programme on later school
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