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IBE works with Swaziland government to develop holistic Early Childhood system

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IBE and Swaziland’s government are working together this week to pioneer an integrated health and educational strategy for developing the country’s children, aged under 8.

Four days of workshops are due to be opened on 15 January by Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini in Swaziland’s capital, Mbabane. They will be attended by key government ministers responsible for different aspects of children’s welfare.

IBE has developed an integrated model for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE). The institute’s staff will present an ECCE system prototype, which is intended to support UNESCO Member States in the development of coordinated and sustainable systems for children under 8.

The workshop participants will discuss the potential benefits of using this model for an innovative national ECCE system in Swaziland. They will explore the approach’s usefulness, who might be involved in the process and the support that could offered by technical and financial partners such as the IBE.

Dr. Amapola Alama who leads the IBE’s ECCE team said: “Swaziland is taking important steps to develop support for children during their early years. IBE is keen to learn more about Swaziland’s services and to share our international experience and innovative strategic approach to help create a system that makes the most of the government’s initiatives and which maximizes their benefits to children.”

In 2016, the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) in Swaziland and the IBE collaborated to establish an ECCE national situation analysis. This helped to identify key priorities for developing a sustainable ECCE system.  In addition, the Ministry of Education and Training produced a national action plan to develop early childhood education. This pioneering work was presented at the first International Biennial Conference on ECCE, held in Seychelles, in February 2017.

IBE is working with several countries in Asia and Africa to develop this innovative approach. Four countries (Cameroon, Egypt, India and Swaziland) are being sponsored by a program funded by Dubai Cares a philanthropic organization, which has collaborated with IBE to help develop innovative, integrated approaches to ECCE.

The workshops will include presentations on:
  • Early childhood education and brain development;
  • Early childhood curriculum: international research and trends ;
  • Swaziland’s Early Childhood Care and Education system.
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Among those taking part in this week’s workshops are: Dr. Mmantsetsa Marope,  the IBE Director;  Dr. Amapola Alama, head of IBE’s ECCE program, representatives from Swaziland’s Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) and UNESCO’s national commission in Swaziland.