L-R: Yuli Tamir, Former Israeli Minister of Education, Margaret Quaye, District Programme Officer at Sabre Education, Foster Cephas Armah, ECE Technical Manager at Sabre Education, Freshta Karim, Founder and Director of Afghan NGO Charmaghz, Sonya Hinton, Education Advisor at Sabre Education

On Friday 28th April 2023, Sabre Education, an international NGO providing quality early childhood education (ECE) in Ghana, joined government officials of education, students and researchers, in a round table discussion at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford, UK.

The discussion was themed, ‘From Research and Practice: Lessons on Early Childhood Development,’ and was organised by students and faculty members of the Blavatnik School. The event sought to draw attention to the critical importance of early childhood learning and development, and the need for collaboration between government and other stakeholders to ensure the effective implementation and monitoring of ECE initiatives.

Sabre Education was delighted to have two employees deliver a presentation at the roundtable. Foster Cephas Armah, ECE Technical Manager, and Margaret Quaye, District Programme Officer, spoke about Sabre’s role as a key player in the rapid transformation of ECE in Ghana. The Ghanaian government have now signed off the national kindergarten curriculum, which is centred around active play-based education, moving away from rote-learning methods. Sabre Education has played a crucial role in this transformation by equipping kindergarten teachers and headteachers with the skills and knowledge to implement the new play-based curriculum.

Sabre’s objective is now laser-focussed on nationally scaling their innovative teacher training, which puts children’s self-expression and creativity at the centre of classrooms, to all of Ghana’s 61,000 kindergarten teachers and 1.8 million children across more than 25,000 schools.

There has been a rapid transformation of ECE in Ghana over the past few years, a movement spearheaded by the Ghana Education Service and other agencies under the Ministry of Education. The principal aim of this radical shift in teaching methodology is for Ghana to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4.2: quality early childhood education for all children.

Sabre has also contributed to the development of Ghana’s National ECE Policy, the Assessment for Learning Framework, the Bachelor of Education ECE Course manuals, the National Kindergarten INSET Training Manual, and has tirelessly advocated for more investment in the early childhood sector.
One of the highlights of the roundtable discussion was a presentation from Catherine Porter, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics, Lancaster University, and Director of ‘Young Lives’, a unique longitudinal study of poverty and inequality that has been following the lives of 12,000 children since 2001.

Catherine shared her analysis of datasets from Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam, which focussed on how inequality develops through childhood into adolescence and early adulthood. The presentation was followed by an insightful discussion on addressing intersecting inequalities and new vulnerabilities.

Overall, the round table discussion on Early Childhood Development opened up a vital debate on the importance of combining research and practice to revolutionise teaching methodologies in Ghana and beyond.