The Northern Regional Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Committee has called for posting of only trained Teachers with background on ECCD to instruct children at that level in the region.
The ECCD Committee has also called for the provision of age-appropriate furniture, playground facilities among other vital infrastructure for especially early childhood centres at public schools to deliver quality education for children.
These formed part of the recommendations of the ECCD Committee after Members of the Committee embarked on a monitoring visit to four Day Care Centres in Tamale and Sagnarigu Municipality last month to assess their operations and activities.
They schools visited included Bagabaga Demonstration Block ‘B’ Kindergarten, Great Heights International Crèche, Nursery and Kindergarten, SDA Block ‘A’ and ‘B’ Nursery and Kindergarten, and Iqra Islamic International Crèche, Nursery and Kindergarten.
The report of the monitoring visit, which was disseminated at a meeting of Members of the ECCD Committee in Tamale, showed that there was congestion in classrooms, lack of child-friendly washrooms, insufficient furniture leaving some children to lie on the floor, no attendant attached to some schools, no playground, and no playing materials at some of the schools, among others.
These gaps were common in the public schools compared to the private schools monitored.
Members present during the meeting lamented the poor state of ECCD education in the region saying the situation did not help in building a solid foundation for children towards academic excellence.
They argued that a strong ECCD level would translate to improved educational outcome at all levels of education and expressed the need for the government to invest in the ECCD level to address the challenges.
Mr Sanday Iddrisu, Northern Regional Director of the Department of Children, and Chairman of the ECCD Committee, said Members of the Committee had planned to engage the Regional Minister on the gaps identified, and the plans by duty-bearers to address the situation.
Mr William Anim-Dankwa, Communications Manager of Children Believe called for practical steps to resource Early Childhood Development Centres with the right infrastructure and facilities.
He suggested that the centres should be required to have the appropriate infrastructure and facilities before being certified to operate.
The Regional ECCD Committee is made up of the Regional Coordinating Director, Regional Directors of Health, Education, Departments of Children, Social Welfare and Community Development, representatives of NGOs working for children at the regional level, representatives of ECCD service providers and selected media practitioners.