Stakeholders in the education sector under the aegis of the Early Childhood Association of Nigeria have appealed to the federal and state governments to revamp the childhood education system in the country.
The Stakeholders noted that the childhood education system serves as the bedrock of citizens’ tertiary education
The association stated this in a communique issued after the 13th Annual National Conference of Early Childhood Association of Nigeria tagged Ogun 2022 held at Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
The association advised governments at all levels to engage in initiatives to reposition childhood education.
In the communique signed by its National President, Prof. Esther Oduolowu, and National Secretary Dr. Olabisi Adedigba the association lamented that insecurity has disrupted the learning of children in the country.
The communique reads in part, “Government should take concrete steps towards repositioning the security architecture to curtail the spate of insecurity in the country in general and safeguard the lives of school children.
“The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development should endeavor to reach homes and children with traumatic fears to provide them with therapeutic messages and relevant resources that can allay their fear.
“Schools should be repositioned for managing security by being provided with necessary security gadgets and infrastructures such as school surveillance cameras (CCTV and drone camera), Rapid Response Telephone services, entry control equipment, emergency alert system, trained security personnel, and gated perimeter fencing.
“The government should specifically target families who have children in early childhood stage with her current social development and welfare programs so as to reduce the effect of the current harsh economic situations on the families, to ensure meeting the daily maintenance needs of their children.”
ECAN however urged parents, caregivers, and international organizations to support the Nigerian government.
A one-day training workshop was also organized for nursery and primary school teachers within Ogun State on Writing Skills, Creative Writing, Production of Instructional Materials, and Jolly Phonics.
Speaking at the conference, the Ogun State government reiterated its commitment to strengthening early childhood education in the State.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu who spoke on the theme; “Repositioning Childhood Education for Coping with National Emergencies”, stressed the essence of childhood education.
The Commissioner disclosed that the state government was revamping the education sector.
He said, “Early childhood education is the bedrock on which all education is built for sustainable development.
“The chances of a child achieving his/her potential are affected by this level of education.
“At this period, when the education sector requires a total revamp, as we noticed in Ogun State, we have put in place what we call Ogun State education revitalization agenda. We are trying to revitalize the education sector.”
Prof. Arigbabu also called on concerned stakeholders in early childhood education to join hands with the government adding that the state government would implement the outcome of the conference.
In her welcome address, the Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Opeyemi Shoaga stressed that the sector was yet to settle post-COVID-19 pandemic.
She noted that “the conference was put up to make experts brainstorm on early childhood education.”
Also in a keynote address, UNICEF education specialist (Abuja), Mrs. Yetunde Oluwatosin, suggested solutions to bridge the learning gap in children.
Oluwatosin suggested that mainstreaming early childhood education; strengthening the capacity of education officials; appropriate curriculum; mobilizing partnerships and innovative solutions could help reduce the childhood education gap.
Meanwhile, ECAN National President, Prof. Oduolowu in her opening remarks, noted that the conference was held to share knowledge on childhood education.
She added that a communique would be issued after the event, and would be recommended to the State government.