The Minister of Education, Mrs Betty Mould –Iddrisu, on Sunday said the Government considered early childhood education a priority as a long term solution to Ghana’ s economic and social problems.
She said Government through the Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies demonstrated its commitment to the wellbeing of the Ghanaian child and ratification of various global policy framework such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the child, framework for Action and the Millennium Development Goals.
Mrs Mould-Iddrisu said these at the opening of the first Annual Conference on International Research and Early Childhood Education at the University of Cape Coast( UCC) in the Central Region.
The two-day conference, jointly organised by the Faculty of Education of UCC and Monash University , Australia, is being attended by more than 150 participants from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Uganda, Mozambique, Senegal Cameroon. Bangladesh, UK, USA, Australia, and China, who would deliberate on issues concernnig early childhood education.
Mrs Mould-Iddrisu said Ghana has realised that early childhood education could lay a good foundation for children and the Government has incorporated early childhood education into national public education system in 2007, to improve access to quality, affordable and sustainable early childhood education to all Ghanaian children.
She said: “our goal is that every Ghanaian and African child must be valued equally and our early childhood education and development service must meet their needs whether they live in slums remote communities or cities” she added.
Professor Ingrid Pramling-Samuelson, Coordinator for Early Childhood Education at the Department of Education University of Goteborg, Sweden, said quality teacher education was a key to early childhood education, and called for the effective training of teachers to handle early childhood education programmes.
Prof Nana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, Vice-Chancellor of UCC , commended the two universities for organising the conference and requested that the conference be used to provide new perspectives on issues affecting children, deliver practical and innovative research ideas to enhance the educational , economic and social lives of children throughout the world.
She asked Government to endeavour to meet the deadline of the MillenniumDevelopment Goals on education.
He appealed to African Governments to provide infrastructural needs of the schools, and improve the feeding and general welfare of school children at the basic level since malnutrition was a barrier to teaching and learning in most schools.
The participant would discuss issues on family and community development, early childhood education, curriculum and pedagogy, early childhood development psychology, inclusive education, achievement of UN Global Millennium goals, maternal and infant/child health, contemporary theoretical research on children’s learning, and the global migration, military conflict and the education of refugee children. GNA