Ms Ivon Wonchua, the Assistant Director, Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD), said: “There were myriad of problems with Early Childhood Education in the Region.”
A visit by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to some crèches, daycare and primary schools in the region indicated that while some few private schools were doing well, there was no seriousness attached to the care and development of children in public schools.
Some kindergarten structures in the Garu and Builsa districts, and Sokabiisi in the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region are without roofs.
Also, furniture for daycare centres and kindergartens were not available.
Ms Wonchua said teachers on disciplinary actions were rather posted to kindergartens to teach while those who were given training in Early Childhood Care and Development were sent to the basic schools.
That, she said, denied the children the needed specialised care.
But Mr John Nyaaba, the Coordinator, Early Childhood Care and Development at the Ghana Education Service, Upper East, noted that even though the kindergarten now formed part of basic school education, there was the need to isolate and address the challenges.
He urged the municipal and district assemblies to take a serious look at the situation to improve early cognitive development in children.
At some of the schools, the compounds were littered with faecal matter and very unhealthy for school activities to take place there.
Mr Nyaaba called on the authorities to consider the future of children in schools and partner with parents to improve situation.
“There is need to look at what the child will be in future since the absence of amenities demoralises the children…,” he said.
Mrs Georgina Aberese from the Department of Children, said the benefits of preschool exposure could not be overemphasised and called for investments in kindergartens in Upper East Region to improve the situation.
“There is clear indication that public ECD education does not meet the standards as compared with the private schools where some of such schools provide more practical teaching.”
“For instance, interactive stories are narrated and illustrated with vivid, engaging imagery to get young learners excited about books. They also use technology such as television and computers for teaching. Children can click on individual words to gain familiarity with their letters and sounds.”
She appealed to the Ghana Education Service, individuals and organisations to assist Early Childhood Centres with informational games, pictures and other pre-school teaching and learning materials to keep the children focused.
“We call for investment in preschools since they help build the educational foundation,” Mrs Aberese said.