The Kenyan Delegation with representatives from the Accra College of Education, Sabre Education, and the Ghana Education Service at the Accra College of Education.

On Sunday 23rd July, international NGO Sabre Education welcomed a delegation of officials from Kenyan education organisation Zizi Afrique on a week-long visit to Ghana as the start of a knowledge-sharing partnership in early childhood education between Ghana and Kenya.

Sabre showcased its work with the Ghana Education Service in strengthening early childhood education across the country, and exchanged strategies based on Zizi Afrique’s successful projects in the Kenyan context.

With two years of compulsory and free kindergarten (KG) education for four- and five-year-olds introduced in 2008, and a new KG national curriculum now based entirely around play-based learning, Ghana is seen as an African leader in early childhood education.

Sabre has been a key NGO partner to government focussing on quality kindergarten education, and has been successful at transforming classroom environments and teaching practices to the child-centred, play-based approach.

Ghana’s progress has attracted the attention of other countries across the continent. As a result, Zizi Afrique, a Kenyan-based NGO, reached out to Sabre Education to bring a delegation of Kenyan Education officials and a Zizi Afrique representative to Ghana for a study tour.

The Kenyan delegation arrived in Ghana on Sunday 23th July on a weeklong visit aimed at learning about the successful Early Childhood Education (ECE) programmes that Sabre Education is implementing with the Ghana Education Service (GES) and its partners Right To Play, UNICEF and Innovations for Poverty Action. The overarching objective was to deepen the delegation’s knowledge of Ghana’s early childhood education sector, as well as learn about Sabre Education’s support to GES in this area.

Zizi Afrique is committed to improving learning outcomes for children and disadvantaged young people. Their mission is to nurture a future generation where children are well-equipped with the foundational skills for learning, and youth well-equipped with skills for life and work. Zizi Afrique conducts studies and assessments of learning to generate evidence, which is consolidated and shared to inform policy and practice.

The delegation was led by Dr. Samuel Marigat, the County Director of the Teachers Service Commission of Kirinyaga, and was also comprised of four other education managers from Kirinyaga County and a staff member of Zizi Afrique.

The team were first received at the Ghana Education Service (GES) headquarters by the Director-General and some members of his top management team.

The delegation then met the National ECE Director and her team, and visited the new ECE Resource Centres at the Accra College of Education and Presbyterian Women’s College of Education (PWCE), which were established with the support of Sabre. The team also met the Directors of Education and their management teams in the Gomoa Central District in order to gain a better understanding of the education set-up at the local government level.

The team visited Sabre’s partner districts in the Eastern and Central Regions to give the Kenyan Education officials an overview of Sabre’s work with GES in these areas, as well as Sabre’s contribution to the ECE space in the implementation of both pre-service and in-service KG teacher training projects.

At Accra College of Education and Presbyterian Women’s College of Education in Aburi, the team gained insight into Sabre’s support of teacher training programmes at ECE college-level. The officials visited the ECE Resource Centres that Sabre established at the two campuses, which were designed to help students create learning resources for their classroom teaching.

The team also visited the University of Education, Winneba, in the Central Region, to observe some of the best practices teachers have learned through Sabre Education’s teacher training programmes.

It has been an honour to share our experience of delivering quality ECE in Ghana with such a talented group of education professionals from Kenya. Their input on our programmatic activities has been invaluable and we look forward to continuing this relationship.

– Tony Dogbe, Sabre Education’s Executive Director

Dr. Samuel Marigat, the lead of the Zizi Afrique delegation and County Director of the Teachers Service Commission of Kirinyaga, Kenya, echoed Tony’s sentiment:

“Our delegation has been very impressed with Sabre and the Ghana Education Service’s efforts to implement nationwide improvements in early learning, as well as their close collaborations with partners like Right To Play. Over the course of the week, we have met a huge diversity of education stakeholders and garnered useful information that has inspired us in the strategic implementation of our early learning programmes in the Kirinyaga County of Kenya.”

“We were really impressed by the level of teacher support in the schools, as well as the unified commitment to quality play-based learning across all stakeholder levels” continued Mr Marigat, “attendance and enrolment are strong, pupils are motivated to come to school, and teachers are committed and well-prepared.”

Sabre Education would like to thank Zizi Afrique and the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) for making possible such a thought-provoking and encouraging visit. Sabre Education and Zizi Afrique remain united in our mission to impact learning outcomes for young people in Ghana and Kenya, and ultimately improve early childhood education across Africa.