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JICA Training Program for Early Childhood Care and Education with Regional Focus on Africa and the Middle East


From November 10 to December 9, 2022, Ochanomizu University conducted an online training workshop in early childhood care and education for a group of eleven trainees from Iraq, Egypt, Malawi, Madagascar, and Sierra Leone as part of a program commissioned by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The seven trainees were all administrators, educational inspectors, supervisors, and other leadership positions in the field of early childhood care in their respective countries. This workshop was in the second year of the second phase (2021-2023) of the 'Early Childhood Care and Education with Regional Focus on Africa and the Middle East' program.

Closing ceremony (Director Yura gave a speech)

The international community have recognized the importance of a comprehensive approach that integrates care and education from early childhood and has reinforced structures to support developing countries in the field of early childhood education. However, in developing countries, there is often a shortage of human resources who are specialized in early childhood care and education (ECCE).

Therefore, Ochanomizu University organized online lectures geared toward regions in Africa and the Middle East where access to ECCE and improving its quality are particularly urgent issues. Aiming to develop human resources at the level of ECCE policy, the lectures addressed ECCE and early childhood support in Japan, covering systems and policies, curricula and teaching methods at day-care and nursery schools, human resource development, and evaluation. The trainees also gave presentations on the situation concerning early childhood education in their own countries and exchanged opinions with each other. The goal of these activities was to improve trainee knowledge and skills with regard to early childhood support.

Responses to the post-training questionnaire were positive, indicating high levels of attainment and a high degree of satisfaction with the learning goals of the six units in the program. These goals are (1) To identify and classify organizational problems; (2) Concepts, substance, and trends in early childhood development (ECD); (3) Issues of disparities in early childhood education and their solutions; (4) Developmentally appropriate day-care/nursery school curricula, teaching methods, and teaching materials; (5) Teacher education and training systems; and (6) Evaluation of early childhood education. Trainees will use the action plans they presented on the final day of training as the basis for applying the outcomes of the training in their respective countries.

*Professor in charge: Takashi Hamano

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