Children Believe Foundation, a non-profit organisation in the northeast region, has called on all stakeholders to invest and prioritise Early Childhood Education (ECE) across the country for improved development outcomes.
At the National stakeholder’s forum held in Accra, the Country Director of Children Believe, Esenam Kavi de Souza, said the meeting was to enable stakeholders take stock of what was achieved in the field of early childhood education, identify the gaps, discuss strategies to bridge the gaps for a good early childhood education.
In her remarks, she said government must invest in early childhood education to enhance basic education, which is critical to the development of the nation.
She said early childhood education provided a window of opportunity that must be maximised to get the right foundation for children and called for more financial support to early childhood education.
She said that if government failed to get the foundation of education right, every other investment at any other stage would not make any impact.
Children Believe (CB) is partnering with the Ghana Education Service (GES) to put early childhood education high on the agenda of development partners, government and carve ways for the future of early childhood education in Ghana.
“At Children Believe, we prioritise early childhood development of which early childhood education is a key component because we believe in starting right,” she said.
“The slogan for our intervention programme in early childhood development is starting right, mainly because if the foundation of which we are building is weak, we know from experience that we will not achieve much as a nation”.
“That’s why we invest between 50 to 60 per cent of our resources annually into promoting and improving early childhood education mostly in the rural areas of northern Ghana”, she said.
“We are calling on the government, particularly the local government, metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to prioritise investment of early childhood education in their plans and budgets.
The Director in charge of Early Childhood Education (ECE) at the Ghana Education Service (GES), Vida Barbara Ntow, said Early Childhood Education formed the basis for all levels of education.
She said when children were denied education, it deprived them of play and other critical things of childhood, such as cognitive, motor, physical, social, emotional and language development.
“Without the child going through early childhood education, the child has been deprived of his or her rights”, she said.
She said, the Ghana Education Service and Ministry of Education with collaboration with NGO’s, private practitioners, educators, researchers alongside communities to work hand-in hand to provide good quality early childhood education for all children.
Mr Eric Ananga, Early Childhood Consultant, and a lecturer at the University of Education at Winneba (UEW), said the challenges Facing early childhood education could be curtailed by good management, monitoring, and evaluating educational curriculum.
Good teacher training and providing infrastructure for children in deprived communities will help give good quality education to children, he said.
Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in and be heard for.
The organisation works to increase influence in fostering positive change for children.