Committee calls for strategic investment in early childhood education

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Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Upper East Regional Early Childhood Development Committee has called for strategic investment in early childhood education to ensure proper growth and development of children to accelerate the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)The Committee said infrastructure and interventions to promote early childhood education and development in many rural communities in the region were lacking and urged the Government and parents to invest in children.

It identified the lack of schools in some communities, inadequate classrooms, furniture, water and sanitation facilities, teachers, and security leading to theft as some of the challenges facing childhood development there.

The Committee, made up of stakeholders from the Departments of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ghana Education Service, Ghana Health Service and traditional leaders among others identified these at the 2024 first quarter review meeting of the Committee in Bolgatanga.

It was organised by the Department of Children with funding support from the Children Believe, a Non- Governmental Organisation.

Mrs Georgina Aberese-Ako, the Acting Regional Director, Department of Children, said early childhood education remained a major challenge in the region, adding that reports from the first quarter of the year still pointed out to inadequate investment to empower children.

She noted that apart from some communities not having schools and denying children access to education, others who had also struggled over limited classrooms, thereby creating overcrowding, especially at the kindergarten and lower primary levels.

“In one of the communities in Builsa South that we visited, one classroom is accommodating four classes, that is KG one and two and primary one and two with one teacher, who is not even trained in early childhood education and it is a big problem,” she said.

The situation of children not in school was worse in communities where the schools were not benefiting from the Ghana School Feeding programme, Mrs Aberese-Ako said.

She added that one of the major challenges affecting early childhood education in some communities was the lack of community participation in protecting school property, leading to theft and damages.

Ms Yvonne Wonchua, the Gender Desk Officer, Upper East Regional Coordinating Council, noted that the achievement of the SDGs, particularly Goal Four, which put emphasis on access to education for all, required strong investment in childhood development from all stakeholders.

She urged the stakeholders to work together to address the challenges facing the development of children.

Pognaba Felicia Agampoka, the Queenmother of Bongo-Feo, said apart from the lack of schools in some communities, which was making it difficult for some children to access education, some parents did not also pay attention to the education of their children.

She said intensified education was needed to ensure parents understood the importance of education, especially at the basic level, to build a strong foundation.

Mr John Nyaaba, the Upper East Regional Early Childhood Development Coordinator, Ghana Education Service, said the Directorate was aware of some of the issues raised ond was collaborating with stakeholders to address them and called for support.

By Anthony Adongo Apubeo, GNA

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