Ebonyi Community Lauds UNICEF For ECD Training, Calls For Recruitment Of More Teachers

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Teachers and education officers from the Iboko community in the Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have lauded the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for organizing Early Child Development (ECD) training in their community.

They said that the programme had enhanced the performance of teachers who handle little children, and called on the government to employ more teachers to fill many vacant positions in various schools in the area for quality education.

They made their feelings known during a week-long ECD training organized by UNICEF in collaboration with Universal Basic Education Board at Vocational Secondly School, Iboko which took place from 9th May to 13th May 2021.

In an interview with some of the teachers after the training, Mr John Una from Izzi local Education Authority expressed joy over the training saying that it has really enhanced the performance of teachers, especially those teaching nursery school pupils.

He however lamented that lack of teachers is one of the major challenges before them, and therefore called on the government to recruit more teachers to fill the vacant positions in various schools in the area in order to impact meaningfully to the children.

“I am happy about this training since we started because is going to enhance our performance as teachers. We wish that this program shall be extended.

“Our challenge is that we don’t have enough teachers. We need more teachers and instruments in our learning centres like science and technology centre, building and writing centre etc all needed materials to function effectively.

“I want the government to do everything possible to recruit teachers in order to give these children quality education.
“I learnt that children learn fast when they play. I was taught about the estimation jar, the rolling can which you roll to students, they will close their eyes and collect something from it.

“While estimation jar contains alot of things inside in which you ask the child to estimate what is inside the jar.
They have also taught us to use available materials at our disposal to teach the children.

“The method they are using to teach us is called Regio-Emilia which originated from Italy in 1945 and helps to build critical thinking in everything you do.

Other teachers like Mrs Ode Anthonia and Mrs Chima Victoria were not left out as they expressed satisfaction over the training saying that the training is quite interesting stating that they use to apply teachers centred method before now, but they have been taught that children’s centre method is the best and also the importance of“ play away time” which helps the children to learn faster.

They equally regretted that most of the schools in the areas lack teachers and therefore urged the government to take urgent action by recruiting more teachers.

“I am happy about this training. Before now, use to do the teacher-centred method, but now it is children centred learning.

“This training is quite interesting because as an ECD teacher now, I learnt many things, especially on how to handle the little ones. This training is centred on how to teach children with Regio Emilia’s method in the classroom.

“I learnt that the play away time is good because they are still flexible. You make them to learn more in their play away time instead of focusing on the theory part.

“Our challenge is lack of teachers, we believe that government will do something about it so that the workload will be reduced.

On his part, the local government education secretary, represented by Mr Nwebor Dominic said the training is a welcome development because it will help nursery and primary school teachers to improve their teaching methodology.

“He commended UNICEF for bringing it to the local government level noting that retraining of teachers especially on ECD brings the best out of them and therefore assured them of full implementation.

One of the facilitators, Dr Stanley Ikoro expressed satisfaction over the response of teachers during the training which indicates that they are really committed and are ready to step down in their various schools.
He stated that the one-week training was used to impact knowledge on the teachers, especially those handling little children.

He further explained that the teachers received training on various topics and teaching methodologies like circle time, a circle can, estimation Jar, numeracy, STEM, and Free playtime among others.

“I am one of the facilitators. Today’s training is unique because it is today that the participants proved what they have been taught or not.

“Today, they taught themselves and demonstrated from the circle time to what we called closing circle by grouping them according to the nursery levels; nursery one, two and three. It is unique because today’s practice ended the programme we started on Monday, and they have demonstrated their ability in order to step it down in our schools.

“can do that depending on their class; if he Assisted programmes in Universal Basic Education Board, Ebonyi State, Dr Christogunus Nweke and a top management officer on the board, Mr Dominic Nwafor urged the teachers to work with the school-based management committee members to source materials instead of extorting money from pupils.

They advised the local government education secretary and other officials not to transfer teachers so fast but should be done after 5 years to enable them to impact enough knowledge on children before moving to another school, calling on the teachers to judiciously make use of the training to bring out the best in those children since UNICEF has spent alot in sponsoring the training.

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