Children Believe, an international non-governmental organization focusing on the welfare of children, has called on government and other stakeholders to prioritise Early Childhood Development (ECD) education, using the Learning through Play (LTP) approach.
Madam Esenam Kavi De Souza, Country Director of Children Believe, who made the call, said LTP methodology recognised the importance of early stimulation for children, particularly within the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, a critical period for brain development, adding that this would enhance holistic and comprehensive development of children.
Madam De Souza, who made the call at a meeting in Tamale to discuss issues affecting the ECD sector, was unhappy that over the years, the government and other key stakeholders did not demonstrate enough commitment towards ECD education.
The meeting, organised by Children Believe, was attended by members of the ECD Committees from the Northern and Upper East Regions, among other stakeholders.
Discussions during the meeting centred on gaps in the educational delivery for children, especially at the elementary stage, such as poor infrastructure, lack of age-appropriate infrastructure and inadequately trained teachers at the ECD level, among others.
Madam De Souza observed that there was over-concentration of state resources to develop higher education to the neglect of ECD, a practice, she said if not curbed, would jeopardise children’s development at the elementary level.
She said, “It is important for our children to start right with the needed foundation not only in their education but also in their health and overall growth and development to enable them to attain their full potentials in future.”
She, therefore, called on the government to increase investment towards capacity building and providing an enabling environment for children to develop an interest in learning in their formative years.
She also expressed the need for government and other stakeholders to strengthen structures at all levels to ensure effective collaboration and coordination of ECD interventions.
Mr Samuel Abdul-Rahaman, Sponsorship Coordinator, Children Believe, urged the government to consider posting teachers with the necessary skills and training on ECD to teach children at that level for better results, saying “Let the government and the Ghana Education Service to priotise posting teachers, who have the requisite training on ECD to meet the demands of children at their early stage.”
Mr William Anim-Dankwa, Communications Manager, Children Believe, called for an inter-agency collaboration for the implementation of programmes and policies to achieve the intended results for the benefit of children.
Madam Yvonne Wonchua, Gender Desk Officer, Upper East Regional Coordinating Council, lamented the over-population of children in the classrooms and said it did not encourage full participation of children and appealed to stakeholders to provide more infrastructure to address the situation such that children would concentrate and contribute effectively at the various learning centres.