Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo (Seated in the middle) with dignitaties at the event.
The First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has advised countries in Africa to pay critical attention to early childhood education.
She said there was an urgent need to provide enough investment in the sector, to ensure children in Africa achieve better academic performance as well as have a higher chance to be successful in life.
The First Lady made this call when she addressed the 8th World Organization for Early Childhood Education (OMEP) Africa regional Conference currently ongoing in Accra.
The conference under the theme: ‘’Transforming and Strengthening ECED Systems for Sustainable Development in Africa’’ was to advocate best practices and promote quality Early Childhood Education and Development (ECED) in Africa.
The First Lady speaking as the guest of honour explained that the first five years of a child’ life are important for the development of the child’s brain, and the first three years are the most important in shaping the child’s brain.
“Early experiences have direct impact on how children develop learning skills as well as social and emotional abilities,” she noted.
For this reason, the First Lady indicated that as a continent, Africa should ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
“This implies access to quality early childhood care and pre-primary education so that boys and girls are ready for primary education. If we can do this, then we will see dramatic changes in education and development of our continent” she added.
The First Lady further advised that provision of early childhood education should not be left to the public sector alone saying “the public sector cannot provide all these alone. Technical expertise, knowledge, resources and support is needed from the private sector and global development partners as we work towards new goals and solutions.”
OMEP is as an international, non-governmental organization with Consultative Status at the United Nations and UNESCO.
It works to defend and promote the rights of the child to education and care worldwide and support activities which improve accessibility to higher quality education and care.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri