The Mayor of Accra, Hon. Alfred O. Vanderpuije and Israeli Ambassador, H. E. Sharon Bar-li came to the Teacher’s Hall to welcome the participants of the MASHAV (Israel's Development Organization) 1st Early Childhood Education course in Accra. Both were excited to see this highly successful education program finally arriving in the Capital City of Ghana, Accra.
Mayor Vanderpuije, standing side by side with Israeli Ambassador Bar-li, was very excited to greet the carefully selected group of Early Childhood Education (ECE) Coordinators and Kindergarten school teachers chosen to take part in the MASHAV 1st Early Childhood Education training taking place this month in Accra.
This course marks the first stage in adopting the very successful Early Childhood Education program which was piloted in Kumasi 3 years ago by MASHAV and the Millennium City Initiative (MCI).
Mayor Vanderpuije was impressed by the success of the ECE program in Kumasi and he announced his plans to adopt this program in Accra during a conference held by the Israeli Embassy and MCI in January 2012 under the theme "Learning made better". In his speech at the conference, the Mayor hailed the success of the program and stated that the pilot stage was no longer necessary as the results of the program have proven themselves in Kumasi. The Mayor repeated this sentiment in his speech today stating that Accra is now ready to implement the benefits of what was achieved in Kumasi. As a long time Educator, the subject of education and especially Early Childhood Education is very close to the Mayor's heart.
The program focuses on using proven Israeli Knowledge and Experience in the field of Early Childhood Education and training qualified teachers in Ghana with skill sets that focus on studying through play. These techniques allow for a much better learning experience for the children while maintaining the Ghana Education Service (GES) curriculum.
Lately, there has been much talk regarding the MASHAV Early Childhood Education program in Kumasi and the interest in the country seems to be high. The ECE success in Kumasi these past 3 years has generated attention from key stakeholders across Ghana. Evidence to that was Ms. Hadija Alhassan, Early Childhood Education Coordinator for Tamale, who arrived with a team of District ECE Coordinators to attend this training. Ms. Alhassan spoke with great confidence about the importance of the course and has asked the Mayor's assistance in facilitating the program to the Northern Region as well.
Earlier this month, Israeli experts Janette Hirschmann and Aviva Ben Hefer were invited by the GES task force in charge of developing the long term up scaling of Early Childhood Education in Ghana. As Israel is running the only successful program in Ghana at this time, the two experts were considered invaluable to the process and MASHAV, with the assistance of Ambassador Bar-li was only happy to assist with their arrival to Ghana.
Mayor Vanderpuije, having only just returned from an official visit to Israel, has spoken highly of what he has learned there and vowed to strengthen the connection between Israel and Accra. He stated passionately that there is very much to benefit from this connection with Israel and that he would sit with Ambassador Sharon Bar-li to discuss this further.