Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has announced its support to a three-year teacher training program in Ghana to upgrade kindergarten (KG) education and enable KG schoolchildren to flourish in primary school. The AED 1,722,872 (USD 469,000) program, in partnership with Sabre Education, is set to benefit 831 teachers and 6,020 children directly and 7,700 KG schoolchildren aged 4-6 years indirectly, in the country's Central and Western regions.
Dubai Cares' support aims to enhance early years' pre-service teacher training in Ghana, building on five years of successful implementation and replication of Sabre Education's Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training (FTTT) program in the Central and Western Regions of Ghana. The program also seeks to upgrade existing kindergarten (KG) classrooms through teacher training and learning resources, converting them into model practice classrooms for KG1 and KG2, which can host high quality practical placements for student teachers. Moreover, the program aims to promote sustainability through empowering the teacher training colleges and Ghana Education Service to continue supporting and monitoring newly qualified teachers.
Commenting on the launch of this teacher-centered program, Annina Mattsson, Programs Director at Dubai Cares said: "Ghana is a great example of how investing in education can positively uplift an entire nation. Thanks to increased government spending, the country has had strong economic growth in the last two decades, fueled by a better educated and more mobile work force that aspires for better job opportunities in a more diversified economy and saw the country's poverty rate cut by half over the same period. With our new program, Dubai Cares is supporting Ghana's government's priority on early childhood education as a major contributor to children's long-term development and strengthening the training framework for newly qualified teachers. Through our partnership with Sabre Education, we are eager to contribute to the development of the KG education system in Ghana and help empowering future generations."
Dominic Bond, Chief Executive Officer, Sabre Education: "At Sabre Education we are forging a reputation as a specialist in the early years sector, building insightful and evidence-led teacher training programs that have evolved through more than ten years of close collaboration with the Government of Ghana. The Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training program is globally recognized as an integrated approach to systemic change that addresses education inequalities for four and five year old Ghanaian girls and boys and promotes active and play based learning as a foundation for 21st century skills. We are delighted to be working with Dubai Cares and our other consortium partners to expand the reach of this award-winning approach."
Ghana has witnessed steady improvements in education over the past three decades with mean years of schooling increasing by 2.2, but there is a lot to do improve the quality of its education. The KG teaching profession continues to suffer from stigmatization, portraying KG teachers as the least skilled, and the early years as less important than primary and secondary schooling. Moreover, there are still various challenges in the KG sector, such as 38% of teachers not having received any formal training, and the high prevalence of corporal punishments in schools having damaging effects on children's learning, in addition to the over-crowding of KG classrooms with an average of 55 schoolchildren per class.
Dubai Cares' new intervention follows a number of educational programs that the UAE-based global philanthropic organization has launched in the country since 2011.