How can countries share their resources and learn from one another? Students from Sweden and Ghana began this process when they were brought together to visit the ICRI Ghana office through a cultural exchange program. They learned about new child care methods and how to make teaching materials with scant resources.
A team of twelve students from the Child and Recreation Department of Dragonskolan, Sweden, and the National Nursery Teachers’ Training Center, Ghana, visited the ICRI Ghana office for a day-long workshop, entitled “Straw into Gold”. They were accompanied by two of their lecturers, the Officer-In-Charge of the National Nursery Teachers Training Centre, Evelyn Quartey-Papafio, and her deputy, Victoria Stephens.
The ICRI Ghana Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre incorporates unique early childhood development curricula using the best practices in the field and provides ECD practitioners with hands-on experience in learning and implementing developmentally appropriate early childhood education.
As part of the itinerary for Ghana’s visit, the group spent a day with ICRI Ghana – “Golden Time with ICRI Ghana.” The object of this visit was to share experience and knowledge in early childhood care and development. The Country Director of ICRI Ghana, Mr. Ebenezer Lartey, gave participants a brief background of ICRI and what it seeks to achieve. The participants were then taken through an activity driven workshop.
The National Early Childhood Coordinator of ICRI Ghana, Naa Koshie Lamptey-Marquaye, showed them around the Jaffe Activity Centre and explained the reasoning behind the center’s diverse activity corners, how the materials used in these corners are made, and the various activities that these materials can be used for. In the next session participants visited the ‘Straw into Gold’ Resource Room, where they were asked to pick out some materials to make teaching and learning materials. Afterwards the participants explained what they had created and how these materials could be used to benefit a child; the materials made were then donated to ICRI Ghana.
Participants learned how to work with children using games, storytelling, art, and other methodologies that are needed to assure that children become creative learners. Certificates of participation were awarded to participants who expressed their joy for participating in this exploratory workshop.
The National Nursery Teachers’ Training Centre, Ghana, and the Child and Recreation Department of Dragonskolan, Sweden, are involved in a cultural exchange program. The second phase of the program involved six students and two teachers from each country, who met for 3 weeks in November 2012 in Ghana and another 3 weeks in February 2013 in Sweden.