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10.03.2006 Business & Finance

Early Childhood project launched at Saltpond

By GNA

Saltpond, Mar. 10, GNA - An Early Childhood Development (ECD) project aimed at improving the lot of children and ECD educators has been launched at Saltpond, in the Mfantseman District.

The project known as the GNAT-BUPL is a collaboration between the Ghana National Association of Teachers and the Danish National Federation of Early Childhood Teachers and Youth Educators (BUPL). The Trade Union Council for International Development Cooperation (LO/FTF) of Denmark are the main sponsors of the project.

Mr Thomas Baifi, Central Regional Secretary of GNAT, who launched the programme on Wednesday, said since early childhood development had been accepted as the foundation of the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) programme, GNAT had seen the need to consolidate the foundation, which had been neglected for too long. Mr Baifi said in 2002, GNAT in collaboration with its foreign partner decided to set up the project in a 16 districts in four regions on pilot basis.

He said the number was increased to eight districts each in four regions.

"The success story of the project has made us to decide to extend it to all districts in the four regions".

"The main objectives are to improve quality of early childhood education in the country and to promote the professional identity, prestige and respect for the profession of early childhood development and also help to create awareness among policy makers about early childhood development".

The GNAT Secretary said an Early Childhood Educators Association to be recognised by GNAT would be formed.

Miss Mary Enos, Mfantseman District GNAT Secretary, said childhood development educators who did not have any prospects could negotiate for a better condition of service through the association and upgrade themselves up to the doctorate level while still teaching. Miss Vivian Etroo, District Director of Education, said teaching in early childhood institutions did not mean only singing or sleeping and urged them to be innovative using objects as teaching and learning materials, adding that they should make their lessons interesting to make the children to remain in school.

Mr Ato Etua, Assistant District GNAT Chairman, advised Early Childhood Educators to take advantage of new courses at the University of Cape Coast and the University of Education, Winneba to upgrade their qualifications. 10 March 06

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