The First Lady Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has advised countries in Africa to pay critical attention to early childhood education and as a matter of urgency, provide enough investment in the sector, to ensure children in Africa achieve better academic performance as well as have a higher chance to be successful in life.
The First Lady made this call whilst addressing OMEP Africa regional Conference currently taking place in Accra.
The First lady noted that “the first five years are important for the development of the child’s brain, and the first three years are the most important in shaping the child’s brain. Early experiences have a direct impact on how children develop learning skills as well as social and emotional abilities."
For this reason, the First lady indicated that as a continent, Africa should ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. “This implies access to quality early childhood care and pre-primary education so that boys and girls are ready for primary education. If we can do this, then we will see dramatic changes in education and development of our continent" she added.
The First Lady further advised that provision of early childhood education should not be left to the public sector alone saying "the public sector cannot provide all these alone. Technical expertise, knowledge, resources and support is needed from the private sector and global development partners as we work towards new goals and solutions."
The First Lady also noted that considering the amount of research in favour of the benefits of early childhood education, we cannot afford to postpone investing in it, since waiting for children to reach school age before investing in them may be too late for their development.
OMEP as an international, non-governmental and non-profit organisation with Consultative Status at the United Nations and UNESCO, defends and promotes the rights of the child to education and care worldwide and support activities which improve accessibility to higher quality education and care.