The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Ebonyi State Universal Education Board EBSUBEB has commenced the training of 50 school support officers, SSOs and Quality Assurance personal, QAs drawn from the 13 local government areas of the State on monitoring and mentoring of caregivers using the Reggio Emilia Teaching methodology in Abakaliki.
Declaring the 5 day training open, the UNICEF desk officer with the Universal Basic Education Board, Mr. Christogonus Nweke called on quality assurance officers of lower basic education in the state to ensure proper monitoring of pre-primary school system for effective early development of the children with the first five years.
Nweke stated that the participants who were carefully drawn from the different Council areas includes Chief Education officers, Heads of departments in the Universal Education Board and Quality Assurance officers.
According to him; “Before now, only private schools run nursery and pre-primary education in the country in the recent times adding that with the intervention of the United Nations Children’s fund, UNICEF has enhanced the introduction and implementation of pre-primary education program in public schools across the country through the EBSUBEB.”
The UNICEF desk officer explained that the training would help to prepare the Chief Education officers and the Quality Assurance officers in the public education sector to equip the children to compete favorably with the counterparts in the private schools.
He urged the participants to take the training serious to achieve its purpose of quality monitoring and mentoring pointing out that the board would after the training monitor the participants to ensure that the carry out the assignment with all diligent and commitment.
Nweke commended UNICEF and the Universal Education Board EBSUBEB for organising the programme, stressing the need for such programmes to be regular as to ensure that every child is impacted.
A resource person on Early Child Education and lecturer in Ebonyi State College of Education Ikwo, Mr. Celestine Edeh enumerated some of the challenges facing early child development to include lack of conducive environment for children, unavailability of teaching facilities, unqualified teachers and improper monitoring the pre-primary schools.
He insisted that for the challenges militating against the early child education to be removed, government and the relevant agencies must ensure that all the needed facilities are provided in the schools while qualified teachers with relevant qualifications are employed.
In an interview, the Quality Assurance Unit officer in Ezza North Local Government Area of the State, Chief Hyacinth Enogu and his Counterpart from Ohaukwu LGA, Mr. Donatus Eze said they have acquired knowledge that would help them to improve the standard of teaching and learning at pre-primary levels.
They promised to step down the training to other teachers in their different schools adding that if properly carried out, Ebonyi State would improve greatly in the teaching of pre-primary school pupils.
The Director Academics services in EBSUBEB, Chief Stephine Uzim described the training as an eye opener for the quality assurance officers and thanked UNICEF for availing them such wonderful opportunity and promise to reciprocate the gesture.
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