Starting school for the first time should be a time full of excitement and fun for children. But this is not the case for many 4- and 5-year olds in Ghana. The majority of teachers have not received any training, and schools are inadequate, with 5,280 existing classrooms in need of major repair.
As a result, children arrive at school and sit all day in row upon row behind rickety desks in dingy, sweltering, airless classrooms. Children are forced to listen to the teacher reciting from a blackboard at the front of the classroom. There are no books, no paper, and no pencils. The threat of the cane is used to keep these young children in line.
As a result, children in Ghana are being failed at the most crucial stage of their education. Why are these early years so important? Staggeringly, over 90% of a child’s brain development occurs before the age of five. Poor development and learning opportunities during these formative early years is resulting in just 2% of children in Ghana reaching the desired standards for literacy after four years of education.
Sabre Education’s mission is to change this. Every child in Ghana deserves to have a quality, playful start to their education. In fact, learning through play and exploration is the most effective way for children to learn during these early years.
Our play-based Transformational Teacher Training is supporting teachers to introduce child-centred, activity-based teaching into their classrooms. And our Creating Playful Schools work is constructing and renovating schools to ensure young children have innovative kindergarten facilities that support play-based teaching and learning.
Most importantly, our work is ensuring that children have better social and communication skills, and are stronger at reading, writing and maths.
But there is still much to be done to ensure that all 1.6 million 4- and 5-year olds in Ghana receive a quality start to their education, so join the Monster today as a Sabre Education fundraiser and help us to transform classrooms across Ghana using the power of play.