The College of Distance Education in Collaboration with the College of Education Studies has organised the second in the series of the annual Easter Forum at the university.
This 2016 forum was on the theme “Early Childhood Care and Development: Strengthening Best Practices, Innovation and Research in Ghana”.
Welcoming participants to the forum, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. D. D. Kuupole said Early Childhood Care and Development has come to stay, and therefore must be embraced by all to put it in a prime position since Ghana was a pioneer in formalising Early Childhood education and care. “With some negative comments about early childhood education in the recent past, such a forum is crucial so as to address some critical issues in early childhood education and to garner all that is needed to uphold it wholeheartedly”, he stated.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, it was heart-warming that a forum aimed at stimulating more debate into issues of early childhood education and care was taking place now to influence child learning and development. He intimated that a child’s emotional development was less likely to be adversely affected because the child might have benefitted from health screening that would lead to school authorities to identify and address in a timely manner any possible development or health needs. He therefore expressed the hope that the forum would provoke more discussions and thoughts in early childhood education to complement earlier efforts made by educationists such as Friedrich Froebel and Maria Montessori.
Keynote Speaker, Dr. Ahmed Jinapor explained that there was a huge misconception about Early Childhood Education since people misconstrue it to be the same as basic education. “We need to be careful because Primary education cannot be equated to early childhood education. Early Childhood Education is more of caregiving though it involves some form of teaching”, he said.
Dr. Jinapor who is the head of Early Childhood Education at the University of Education, Winneba, described the business of early childhood education as a complex activity and one has to be very prepared to manage it. “We as a people appreciate it but in practice we have a major challenge. We need to do what we do well”, he stressed.