GES Lively Minds Coordinators Conference opens in Tamale

A conference to foster knowledge sharing, networking, and upskilling of competences to ensure efficiency in the delivery of the Ghana Education Service (GES) Lively Minds Programme has opened in Tamale. The three-day conference is being attended by all Regional and District GES Lively Minds Coordinators across all implementing districts. Mr James Adongo Awini, Country Director, Lively Minds, speaking during the opening of the conference, said it formed part of efforts to achieve an elevated level of quality and operational excellence. The GES has adopted the evidence-based Lively Minds programme to support its Early Childhood Development strategy. The programme improves school-readiness for rural children by training parents and kindergarten teachers to run Educational Play Schemes in the school kindergarten. In addition, rural parents receive group workshops, and radio shows broadcast in 16 local languages across eight regions to support them provide better care and education at home for children. GES has committed to institutionalising, delivering, and sustaining the programme across eight regions between May 2021 to April 2026 to reach 62 districts and 4,000 schools. Mr Awini said 'Since September 2021 when the scale started, the GES Lively Minds programme has continued to innovate our approach to enabling preschoolers to get prepared for school through play.' He said, 'our collective effort has enabled us to reach communities in 52 districts located in eight regions' adding 'Apart from the training of about 9,734 Headteachers and KG teachers, who are currently implementing the programme, the 199,285 KG learners currently benefiting from the programme, the community and parental engagement approach used by this programme is unique.' He was hopeful that through the conference, new knowledge would be gained, old practices refined, and deep bonds of coordination and collaboration would be forged. Dr Kwabena Bempah Tandoh, Deputy Director General, GES in-charge of Quality and Access, said the programme was key to achieving quality early childhood education and ensuring that foundational learning opportunities for children from marginalised backgrounds were available to support them reach their full potential. Dr Tandoh said, 'Despite the programme currently operating in the northern half of the country, we have every desire to expand the programme to the remaining rural districts across Ghana and funding discussions are currently ongoing to that effect.' He urged participants to be objective and candid in their discussions to help GES to learn from its successes and learnings over the past two years as it charted a new course for the scale up of the programme. Mr Michael Nsowah, Council Chairperson, GES, urged participants to apply new things to be learnt for the benefit of learners. Nana Baffour Awuah, Director, Pre-Tertiary, Ministry of Education, pledged the Ministry's support for the programme to continue to make strides in the early childhood education sector. Source: Ghana News Agency