Childhood education should promote growth and development of children

20Feb 2021
The Guardian
Childhood education should promote growth and development of children

​​​​​​​In recent years, early childhood education has become a prevalent public policy issue.  The global priority placed on early childhood education is underscored with targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4. It is described as an important period in a child's development.

It refers to the development of a child's personality.  And therefore family literacy is a method of education. Relatively new, family literacy is being put into practice in several African countries.

The roots of family literacy as an educational method come from the belief that  the parent is the child’s first teacher.  Studies have demonstrated that adults who have a higher level of education tend to not only become productive citizens with enhanced social and economic capacity in society,  but their children are more likely to be successful in school.

Literate parents are better able to support the learning of their children.  Establishing family literacy programmes is the most effective strategy to increase parental involvement and literacy development. The purpose of parental literacy curriculum is to increase students’ academic achievement. When family literacy programmes are established parents become advocates for their child's literacy.   When parents are empowered they become active lifelong participants in their child's education. Childhood Education is designed to promote the growth and development of young children and to engage parents in their child's educational programme in order to foster meaningful involvement that will be maintained throughout the child's educational career. Parent education: provides instruction on how children grow, develop, and learn.  

Interactive parent/child activities: provide  parents and children the opportunity to share their newly developed literacy experiences. Parents and children interact together, enriching their relationship through reciprocal learning that takes place, enabling them to become true partners in education.

 The goal of educating parents is to empower and provide resources to parents who are a child's first teacher. Adult Education helps to rebuild relationships between parents and the school's faculty and staff.   Helping to involve parents can be done in a child's learning through play groups, sharing stories and books together, and child-directed play time that all help the child to bond with their parents.

A Dar es Salaam-based ICT firm, DataVision International has been recognsed as one of the key players in the sector for transforming education through technology.

This follows its active participation in facilitating a study, which was designed to test whether self-directed learning using technology can enable children to learning reading, writing and match skills outside the traditional classroom.

The study project involved 3,000 children aged between 7 and 10 from six districts in Tanga Region and in 2017, children were given tablets, which were installed with special software that assist children to learn without teachers’ support. The result was that half of the students were able to read, write and count without teachers’ support.

As a result, the ICT firm’s representatives participated at the event organized to award winners of Global Learning X-Prize’ Challenge held recently in Los Angeles, USA.

DataVision’s business development executive, Bwigane Mulinda, described the project as key in scaling up country’s education sector through ICT at the time when the country faces shortage of teachers.

She said being part of the study, the international community looks Tanzania as key player in technological transformation particularly in encouraging children to learn reading, writing and mathematics on tablets.

During the global event, Kitkit School from the U.S. and Onebillion from the U.K were declared co-winners of the XPRIZE, and went away with US$10million for developing the best learning app through its project that empowers children with reading, writing and counting skills.

The goal was to develop open-sourced software, put it on tablets donated by Google and have thousands of children in 170 remote villages in Tanzania test it.

They had to develop programmes filled with games that could grab children’s attention and then, like teachers do, use drawings, letters, numbers and sounds to teach them to teach themselves to read, write and do arithmetic.

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