Schools Children Are Not Introduced To ICT At An Early Stage- Assessment
Based on the assessment, children are not introduced to information technology at an early stage. A situational assessment of Early Childhood Development (ECD) in the five regions in the north has disclosed that no school has introduced computer games, which implies that children are not introduced to such technology at an early age.
The assessment also showed that while there was a standard to guide the teaching of children up to three years, there was no specific curriculum to dictate the real content that should be taught to children of those ages leaving daycare practitioners, non-governmental organizations and religious bodies involved in providing ECD services to use varied content materials.
It also found high cases of overcrowding of up to 120 children in a class, which was way above the national standard of 25 children per class.
The assessment, released at a forum in Tamale attended by stakeholders in education and child welfare, was carried out in January, this year, and it involved a total of 30 schools in the Northern, North East, Savannah, Upper East, and Upper West Regions.
It was inaugurated by Children Believe (CB), an international non-governmental organization, to analyze in a holistic way the ECD initiatives at family, community, district, regional and national levels and how they impact child development in the country.
CB works in three regions, nine districts, and 53 schools in the north, and currently, 16, 687 children in ECD schools and communities are benefiting from CB’s interventions.
The country exhibited dedication towards ensuring the welfare of her youngest population by adopting the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Policy (2004) to provide a solid foundation for children aged zero to eight and promote their holistic development.
The assessment found that schools supported by CB were better resourced with teaching and learning materials, well-ventilated classrooms, and separate toilets for boys and girls compared to other schools not supported by CB.
Other findings included the non-availability of age-appropriate tables and chairs, poor and inadequate ECD classrooms, inadequate qualified teachers at the kindergarten level, few teachers with specialization in ECD amongst others.
The findings showed that many of the early graders in the five regions in the north were not on track developmentally as required under the Sustainable Development Goals (4.1).
The assessment, therefore, recommended the need for government and stakeholders to explore partnerships to build more standard ECD classrooms to address the issue of overcrowding at the schools.
Mrs. Florence Ayisi Quartey, Director, Department of Children, whose speech was read on her behalf, said moves were ongoing to revise the existing ECCD to reflect current trends adding “I am pleased to inform you that the process for the development of a revised ECCD Policy is about to commence and we are optimistic that it would further contribute to the advancement of ECCD implementation in Ghana.”
She commended CB for its efforts towards ECCD implementation in the country saying “The assessment conducted would provide useful inputs for the policy revision and support ECCD implementation in general.”
Mrs. Esenam Kavi De Souza, Country Manager of CB stressed “As part of CB’s global effort to promote a community of practice, strengthen our voice and influence in addressing key issues affecting children in our countries of operation, the Ghana Country Office is establishing a Centre of Excellence in ECD.”
Mrs. De Souza added that “It is against this background that over the last three years, the Country Office and partners have given special attention to improving ECD in our operational areas.”