By Rosemary Ogbonnaya
Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Hamid Bobboyi
has said Early Childhood Care Development and Education, ECCDE, is taking centre stage in Basic education delivery in the country.
Bobboyi made this submission at the 5-day stakeholders’ engagement on the development of a roadmap on effective implementation of early childhood care development and education ECCDE in Kaduna.
He said the change in the Education System is paramount to the Commission because of the importance of ECCDE, saying when access is given to the child to acquire appropriate early stimulation, nurturing care and language skills at very early years in life.
The Executive Secretary expressed hope that the ECCDE framework will reinforce the effort targeted at eliminating the menace of Out-of –School children and elicit the attention of ministries, parastatals and local and international development partners to start direct efforts at promoting ECD in Nigeria.
He stressed that globally, records have shown that through play based activities at this foundational stage, the child develops and acquires skills for effective transition into the primary school as well as retention and completion of school.
According to him, the Basic Education sub-sector has proven itself in all ramifications, to be a means to an end to so many educational challenges in Nigeria from poor reading habits, poor performance in Schools, lack of interest in acquiring basic and sustainable learning to the very devastating one that the whole world is talking about and earnestly looking for solution to which is the menace of Out of School.
“The commission has to kick start this process in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) and UNICEF because it has the mandate to ensure uninterrupted access to qualitative functional early learning to all children within the age group of 3-5 years in Nigeria. Though a lot of resources has been invested massively in the provision of learning materials in schools for the expansion of early Childhood Education delivery, the need for a roadmap cannot be over emphasised. This is because, the implementation of ECCDE requires synergy and collaboration at all levels since the early Childhood Development in holistic, inter-sectorial, multidimensional and the foundation of all E education level”.
The Executive Secretary said the 5-day interactive meeting was organised basically for two main reasons; to briefly review the implementation of ECCDE in Nigeria, understand its benefits, the best practices around the world in teaching and learning and the National Policy Documental on Implementation of ECCDE; the Status of ECCDE in Nigeria with reference to the states in the North.
The second reason was to fulfill the national policy statement through the development of better services delivery and efficiency in education of Nigeria’s children early in their lives.