Kindergarten helps children be ready to learn in primary and beyond
As the Deputy Director-General of the GES and implementers of the MoE’s policies, my and the entire leadership’s vision is to respond to the needs of Ghanaian children to ensure that they all have a fair chance to be “ready for learning” in primary school.
While kindergarten is integrated in the Education Sector Plan (ESP 2018-2030) and the Education Sector Medium-Term Development Plan (ESMTDP 2018-2021), there was a concern that the uniqueness and distinctiveness of kindergarten might be overshadowed and overlooked in the broader basic education space.
In order to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of pre-primary education in Ghana, the key question to tackle was, how do we ensure that the early education systems’ particular features and challenges are articulated and highlighted so that they are systematically and substantially addressed?
Little did I know that the answer was to be found right at my doorstep through a new, innovative diagnostic and planning process that is developing into a comprehensive “Kindergarten Policy Framework” consisting of (1) a kindergarten-specific policy directive; (2) a detailed costed kindergarten operational plan; and (3) an accompanying monitoring and evaluation framework.
Diagnostic and planning workshop: identifying and overcoming challenges to universal quality pre-primary
The process began with a collaborative diagnostic workshop in June 2018, engaging the MoE/GES and key partners to assess the pre-primary landscape in Ghana. The workshop also helped to identify priority challenges and associated strategies across the subsector to improve the provision of equitable and quality ECE. Findings from the diagnostic workshop revealed, for example, weak coordination mechanisms among key ECE stakeholders that are essential for collective impact; inadequate family and community engagement; and limited data from the sub-national level to better inform policy decisions.
A key result from this exercise was the establishment of a “core technical working group” of ECE stakeholders tasked to take forward the findings from the workshop and craft the “Kindergarten Policy Framework” aligned with ESP 2018-2030 and ESMTDP 2018-2021. The framework aimed at reducing inefficiences and maximizing results of children’s school readiness. This core team consists of GES planning officers, staticians and ECE and M&E experts, research and program officers from key NGOs and donor agencies, and serve as technical experts and champions for ECE.
Bright Dey, a participating GES Planning Officer and member of the core team, says he benefited from the work because it, “gave me a lof of exposure on most of the critical child development issues, which we often overlook in our educational planning processes. I’m now better off to deliver improved planning for quality ECE.”