ISSER partners AFC to strengthen use of ‘play-based’ approach in early childhood education

ISSER partners AFC to strengthen use of ‘play-based’ approach in early childhood education

Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), together with the University of Sierra Leone and Associate for Change (AFC), have partnered to build up the use of ‘play-based’ approach at the early childhood education through teacher capacity building.

In view of this, a workshop was organised to launch the project on ‘Teacher Capacity-Building for Play-Based Early Learning in Ghana and Sierra Leone’ and host stakeholders to share ideas concerning the initiative.

Director of ISSER and Team Lead for the project, Prof. Peter Quartey, explaining what has compelled the institutions to partner for the project, said the focus on education in the country has only been on the basic schools, neglecting early childhood education.

This, he said, has led to the poor use of the play-based method due to unavailable resources and lack of training for teachers at various levels to enable them to apply the approach, hence, the need for the project.

According to Prof. Quartey, observations have proven that the use of the play-based approach is an excellent way of keeping children in school, while they focus and keep in mind whatever they are being taught.

“But our preliminary observation tells us that children concentrate more when you use a play-based approach in teaching. They like schooling and retain whatever is taught. So we thought we should look at some of the innovations and interventions that have gone into that aspect, see how they are making impact, and where they are making significant impact, how do we scale them up so that we cover other parts of the country?” he explained.

Prof. Quartey outlined steps to be taken within an 18-month period to assess whether or not the various schools use the play-based method at the early childhood school. This will provide data which will assist the partners in taking decisions.

“We are going to do literature review, exploratory studies where we will go and see how some of these things are being practised, what are the issues involved and, then, based on that, we will have a quantitative study as well.

“We will have data collection as well, where we will evaluate some of these play-based approach to learning and then later on, when we have our reports, we see how we can scale it up to enhance the outcomes,” he noted.

He said consultations have been made with the various groups which have the mindset of driving the agenda and have open arms to collaborate with any group that shows up. Prof. Quartey indicated that the steps to be taken will help inform policy-makers on what needs to be done.

The Co-Team Lead and Director for AFC, Lesley Casely-Hayford, also stressed on the need for schools to step up and adopt the use of the play-based approach in teaching the children at the early childhood schools to help shape them from the early stages.

She added that as part of the project, they will introduce various innovative approaches; then, government can take up the cost because it is worth it.


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