By Murtala Issah
The Parliamentary Select Committee on Gender, Children and Social Protection has lauded an educational initiative being implemented by UK based nongovernmental organisation, Lively Minds, and the Ghana Education Service (GES) across eight regions of the country.
The initiative has generated significant interest among stakeholders due to its uniqueness. Under the initiative, mothers spend time with early schoolchildren, learning in a playful environment.
During a monitoring visit to some beneficiary communities in the Mion district of the Northern region, the chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Gender Children and Social Protection, Dr. Emmanuel Marfo, said the Committee will canvass for support for the initiative and see to its expansion across all public schools in the country.
Since the beginning of the Ghana Education Service’s (GES) Lively Minds programme, the initiative has manifested promising outcomes. The initiative seeks to boost and improve the quality of education given to children, laying a solid foundation for their future progress.
A key component of the initiative is the involvement of mothers from the community. These women are selected and trained on teaching techniques and how to engage children in a playful way. The mothers serve as the bridge between early childhood education centers and the community, undertaking playful learning sessions with the children.
The mothers engage in interactive activities such as dance, games, and crafts aimed at stimulating the curiosity and creativity of children.
According to Dr. Marfo, the initiative is a good example of the important role of parents and the community in the education of children. He was, however, saddened by the level of poverty in most of the communities he visited.
“I am just wondering how a teacher posted to this community will accept posting, because where to live, to even work could be challenging,” he noted.
Despite the challenges facing most of the communities, he was impressed with the initiative and wants to see it replicated across all public schools in the country.
“You can see that because their parents are around and fully engaged in the programme, they are very enthusiastic and very engaged,” he observed.
More than two hundred thousand pre-school children from two thousand three hundred and thirty-five communities across eight regions of the country are currently benefiting from the programme.
Despite the success of the programme so far, the committee has identified some challenges, such as inadequate playgrounds, and has promised to seek the support of corporate Ghana to address these challenges.