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


From November 15  to December 10 , 2021, Ochanomizu University conducted an online training workshop in early childhood care and education for a group of seven trainees from Egypt, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, and Malawi, and three observers from Madagascar as part of a program commissioned by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). They were government officials, school inspectors, faculty members of teacher training schools, and others involved in early childhood services in a leadership or supervisory capacity in their respective countries. The workshop was the first year of a three-year plan for 2021-2023 academic year.

The international community has 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, there is a shortage of human resources specialized in the field of early childhood care and education (ECCE) in developing countries.

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

* President Sasaki participated in the opening ceremony.
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