Early Childhood Development training is off to a great start in Enga Province.

The National Executive Council has recently approved PNG’s Early Childhood Education Policy (ECD) 2020 for implementation. It did not take long for the Governor of Enga Province, Sir Peter Ipatas after the approval of the policy, to request ECD training from BbP for a first cohort of teachers. Robin LAKARI, the Early Childhood Education Coordinator for Enga Province travelled to Port Moresby in January to meet with Leanne Resson, BbP Executive Officer to organise for the immediate training of teachers in his province.

The BbP teacher training program covers principles of ECD, effective teaching strategies, phonics, lesson planning, classroom management, observation and assessment, child protection, inclusive education and much more.

In order to support the training program and its successful continuation and application in the classrooms, BbP has developed Program Handbooks in Literacy and Numeracy, a Literacy Teaching Aids Resource box (charts, games, posters, signs, flash cards and board games), a Numeracy Kit Box (pre-STEM toys, scales, abacus, building blocks, shape sorters and much more), Curriculum readers for Term 2-4, Special needs awareness stories and a digital learning app. The organisation has also just launched a digital learning website to assist teachers with digital skills and tips for use in the classroom. www.bbpdigitallearning.org

Mr. Robin LAKARI inspected the materials BbP has developed for the training as well as the curriculum and teaching aids to be used by teachers in the classroom to improve education outcomes. Mr. Lakari said: “It is indeed a pleasure to be in partnership with Buk Bilong Pikinini. I have thoroughly gone through the curriculum materials documented by BbP and have learned that the materials are truly best to implement in Early Childhood learning. As such, I have recommended the Provincial Government to purchase them and hire the BbP agents to run the training here in Enga. The teaching and learning materials are perfect and can actually produce quality results when used in Enga. Our Provincial Government has finally decided and agreed that BbP Curriculums for Early Childhood can be used in the province while pending the National Department of Education to produce one. However, as I have said, I have no reservation to admit that the materials are the best and if possible, can also be used in the Country”.

Leanne Resson said: “Children who are fortunate to have teachers who have access to training, quality teaching aids, meaningful books and educational materials will perform better than those who have had poorly trained and unsupported teachers. Children who have had access to a quality early childhood education program will perform even better, as the child will have set the foundations for memory and learning, understood discipline and attention from a young age.”

Early Childhood Development (ECD) refers to the physical, cognitive, linguistic and socio-emotional development of a child from the prenatal stage up to age eight. BbP has developed a comprehensive ECD program to prepare and transition the children into school. BbP’s Library Learning Centres enrol 5-year-olds for one year. The program, however, can be successfully taught to children in the 4-8 age group.

BbP is looking forward to continuing to upskill teachers across Enga Province and to be working with like-minded provinces, who also realise that Early Childhood Development is key to a successful education built on solid foundations.