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The Potential of Early Childhood Development Contributing towards National Healing and Reconciliation in Zimbabwe
Since independence in 1980, the process of nation building through ‘national healing and reconciliation’ has remained a burning issue deserving rethinking and revisiting at various levels to nurture democracy in Zimbabwe. Efforts towards this goal have featured mainly through three landmark phases, that is, Racial Reconciliation Policy (1980), Unity Accord (1987), and the Organ for National Healing and Reconciliation (ONRH) in 2008. However, despite these efforts, violence has continued to raise its ugly head, with recent reports revealing in-house violence within major political parties. Such developments have threatened the very core of the well-intended ONHR. The main question for this study was: What could be the missing link in all these efforts towards peace-building and development? There was need to identify a realistic/holistic approach to national healing and reconciliation. For the purpose of this study, the main task was then to highlight the possible role that could be played by the youths in national healing and reconciliation, with specific reference to Early Childhood Development (ECD). This was an exploratory study, aimed at finding out how the curriculum could be applied in the process of national healing/reconciliation. The study was mainly based on document analysis of Chapter 13 of the 1999 Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Education’s Report, the 1993 ECD handbook (revised in 1999 and 2010), and the Zimbabwe Education Blueprint 2015 – 2022. This was then reinforced by a detailed review of literature, where several key documents were studied in search of relevant theoretical perspectives. Results showed ECD providing a firm foundation for the future of peace, national healing and reconciliation in Zimbabwe.