In a unique demonstration of their commitment to lay strong foundation for kindergarten education in Ghana, MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperationhas partnered with the Government of Ghana through the Ghana Education Service and the Tamale Municipal Assembly to introduce the Early Childhood Education programme in the Northern Region for the first time. Early childhood educators from five districts in the Northern Region, including Tamale Metropolitan, participated in a two week intensive training course focused on early childhood development ? “learning by play.”

In his remarks to officially bring the training to an end, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Israel, Eyal Lampert remarked that?it has been the fourth year since MASHAV?s Early Childhood Education program has been running in Ghana. It was determined by an independent evidence based research that it is the only program for this age working successfully in Ghana. After upgrading early childhood education in Kumasi and Accra, it is exciting to witness it spreading to the North?.

The Israeli Deputy Chief of Mission continued that ?making a change is a long process that requires commitment, devotion, belief in what you are doing, determination, patience and strong motivation. We?ve been blessed to have found all of these in the educators participating in the program and to have such committed partners as the Head of Tamale Metropolitan Assembly and the head of GES in the North?.

Mr. Lampert added that MASHAV?s Early Childhood Education program uses low budgets but has great value, as it lays the foundations to create a generation of curious children, who will be critical thinkers and will be able to ??better understand the world around them. The program empowers the teachers, helps them become mediators between the child and the world around him, creates a rich and stimulating indoor and outdoor learning environment in the kindergarten, and brings the outside world into the kindergarten for the child to experience. It builds a flexible curriculum and daily schedule based on the children?s world and provides opportunities for developing creativity and thinking skills in the child, as he is learning through play.

In 2006, Millennium Cities Initiative (MCI) and MASHAV, the Agency for International Development Cooperation in Israel?s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, came together in an initiative to greatly improve early education for children in Kumasi, Ghana?s second largest city.The programme was extended to the Greater Accra Region in January 2012 which was declared a Millennium City in 2009. The Northern Region is the latestbeneficiary.

The project, which started with five schools and 25 teachers, four years ago, to date has trained over 200 teachers (a number which continues to grow each year) and has been a tremendous influence in seeing preschool education in a different way in Ghana.

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