The Early Childhood Education approach
Children in some of the world’s poorest communities often have no opportunity to attend pre-school and there is now significant evidence demonstrating the long-term beneficial outcomes of such early education. The Young Facilitators’ approach provides an alternative opportunity to prepare small children for school. It builds on the Child to Child concept of older children interacting with their younger siblings and peers.
Older children already in primary school (Young Facilitators) are trained to actively engage with pre-school children (Young Learners) in their community. They work with the Young Learners by taking them through a series of fun, interactive learning games and educative activities over a period of one year to prepare them for school. As a result, the Young Learners develop early learning competencies, start school at the right age and achieve key learning outcomes. The Young Facilitators develop self-esteem and confidence.
To support these activities, primary school teachers are trained in child-centred and developmentally appropriate activities so that they can improve their classroom practice and make learning relevant and fun for children.
Initially conceived in Botswana in the 1980s, the Early Childhood Education model has recently been implemented as a global pilot in six countries in partnership with UNICEF between 2007 – 2010: Getting Ready for School. Adapted versions of this pilot are currently being implemented in Sierra Leone and Pakistan. In 2013, the American Institutes for Research published a report summarising key findings from the project’s evaluation, which was carried out using a randomised control trial methodology.
The UNICEF video below describes Getting Ready for School programme in the particular context of the Democratic Republic of Congo and shed light on children’s potential through the Child to Child approach.
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