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30.05.2005 General News

WB mounts exhibition on Early Childhood Dev't

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Accra, May 30, GNA - The World Bank on Monday mounted an educational exhibition in Accra to sensitise participants at the Third African International Conference on Early Childhood Development currently underway in Accra.

The exhibition is aimed at drawing the attention of policy makers, governments, the donor community, educationists and the media to the critical importance of protecting the rights of young children to develop their cognitive, emotional, social and physical potentials. Books and artefacts at the exhibition, which forms part of the Conference, include pamphlets, leaflets, toys, posters, personal dolls, and compact disc materials on child development.

Other bodies and countries participating in the exhibition include the United Nation Agencies, Ghana, South Africa, Guinea, Senegal and Zambia.

Ms Agnes Arthur, Programme Assistance of UNICEF, told the Ghana News Agency that UNCEF sought to use the exhibition to share its worldwide experiences in dealing with early childhood development. "We seek to create a foundation of support for children, their caregivers and the community through the medium of an exhibition," she said.

The books include, "The Convention on the Rights of the Child", "The Cairo Declaration", "The Millennium Development Goals", "Education for All" and "The Declaration and Framework for Action of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children." Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Women and Children's Affair, outlined Ghana's development programme for early childhood development, which includes establishment of early childhood development centres and a psychosocial manual for teachers at the pre-school and the primary levels.

Others are standards and indicators for four- to five-year-olds, a document of early childhood care and development and the setting up of a multi-sectoral national coordinating committee to operationalise the policies.

"These are to ensure a smooth take-off of the Early Childhood Development programme, ensure the holistic development of the child and provide a strong foundation for Ghana's resource development."

Topics to be discussed at the conference include, "Young Children Infected/Affected by HIV/AIDS", "Nutrition and Psycho-Social Development in the Early Years" and "Communication in Support of Child Well-Being". The Conference is being organized through the partnership between members of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) working group on Early Childhood Development, which includes the World Bank, UN agencies and the Government of Ghana.

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