Lack of classrooms for Early Childhood Development, inadequate play facilities and materials in Kindergartens and inadequate qualified teachers at the Kindergarten (KG) level, have been identified as some challenges thwarting Early Childhood Development in Northern Ghana.
This was contained in a “Situational Assessment of Early Childhood Development (ECD) in 5 regions of Northern Ghana” report commissioned by Children Believe, an NGO in January 2021.
Dr. Chrys Anab from the Department of Sustainable Development Studies at the University for Development Studies (UDS), who presented the report at a dissemination workshop in Tamale noted that, many teachers with specialization in Early Childhood Development refused postings to the KGs and many of the teachers at that level were untrained.
The research also found that there wasn’t a standardized curriculum for children at the Kindergarten (KG) level to enhance early childhood development. Dr. Chrys Anab noted that many religious bodies, private day-care providers and NGOs involved in Early Childhood Development used their own curriculum where their focus is usually on fluency in the English Language.
Country Manager of Children Believe, Mrs. Esenam Kavi De Souza in an address said the importance of early learning is highlighted in Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 4) which seeks to ensure that by 2030, “all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education”.
She therefore stressed that early learning, including pre-primary education is therefore an essential vehicle in achieving Universal Primary Education in Ghana.
National Director for Department of Children, Mrs Florence Ayisi Quartey, in a speech read for her, announced that, a process is about to commence to revise the 2004 ECCD policy and “we are optimistic that it would further contribute to the advancement of Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) implementation in Ghana”.
She added that the rollout of the ECCD Standards (0-3 years) and other ECCD related policies plans and programmes would strengthen and scale-up ECCD implementation for the holistic development of all children (0-8 years) in Ghana.
Story By: Ken Zorre Edward