Publication Date

1997

First Advisor

Geremie Sawadogo

Abstract

In the nation of Ghana, government education policies and donor assistance groups have begun to place a focus on basic education. Basic education begins with the first year of formal education or "primary one" and continues through the middle school levels. International development organizations, local organizations and religious organizations seem to be focusing efforts toward this level as well. There appears, however, to be a gap in the area of early childhood education. Children from the ages of 0 to 6 have been left out of this system. According to UNICEF and other child development studies, these are the years that are crucial to a child's mental, physical, and emotional growth; these are the years that children develop foundations for any future learning. The educational needs of this group of children need to be addressed.

Some form of early childhood education programs do exist for selected children. In the urban areas of Ghana, there are many private "pre-schools" that cater to this need for those from well-to-do families. For the poor and those in rural areas, these pre-schools are not options. None of the pre-schools or primary schools for that matter, are a product of community planning nor are they a reflection of the values of the communities they function within.

Based on various research conducted through interviews, surveys, community focus groups, participatory rural appraisal techniques, and literature reviews, the provision of relevant early childhood education opportunities for the rural community of Ebuakwa was investigated. Ebuakwa is one of many communities located in the Central Region of Ghana that has shown an interest in early childhood education. The community of Ebuakwa currently provides a basic form of day care which consists of a childminder who watches the children while the parents are working.

This paper looks into factors that hinder an effective early childhood education program, positive aspects that might facilitate such a program, and factors that are necessary in sustaining an early childhood education program in a rural community in Ghana.

Disciplines

International and Comparative Education

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