AT ATLANTIC HALL, HOTEL PRESIDENTAL FROM THURSDAY, 28TH TO FRIDAY, 29TH OCTOBER 2010.
The Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI) organized the first National Conference on Kindergarten Education in Nigeria for the progress of the educational development of children within the age (3 – 6 years) with the theme, “Kindergarten Education in the twenty-first century Nigeria: Issues, Trends and Challenges”. The conference took place at the Atlantic Hall, Hotel Presidential from Thursday, 28th to Friday, 29th October,2010. Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI) is a non-governmental and non-profit making organization that is passionate about the growth and development of Kindergarten Education, an aspect of education that hitherto had been neglected particularly in providing access to the vulnerable, marginalized and virtually excluded poor in the society. In order to address this issue, ESI has intensified the spread of kindergarten schools in the rural areas of River State where there are more children from poor homes. However, the target is to establish at least one school in each of the 319 wards in River State.
For a holistic appraisal of the theme of this conference, seven papers were presented by eminently qualified resource persons on the following working-themes:
Kindergarten Education in the twenty-first century Nigeria:
- The Empowerment Support Initiative Approach (Prof A.O.I Gabriel).
- The United Nations Agencies and the development of Kindergarten Education (Dr, (Mrs) Uche.P. Bialonwu.
- The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in developing Kindergarten Education in Nigeria (Mrs. Margaret Akinware).
- Teacher and Curriculum Development Programmes for Kindergarten Educationin Nigeria (Dr.(Mrs.)Esther Oduolowu.
- Implementation Challenges in the Practice of Kindergarten Education in Nigeria (Dr. Israel Olu Osokoya).
- Funding and Management of Kindergarten Education in Nigeria (Prof. Joel Babalola).
- The Importance of Parental involvement in Early Childhood Education: Lessons Learned from the United Stated (Mr. Jaracus Copes).
About eight hundred and fifty participants out of one thousand, five hundred persons who attended the conference discussed the papers presented and generated the following items for the communique.
- There should be a policy on Kindergarten Education in Nigeria that has a legal backing or legislated and turned into law.
- Conscious efforts should be made to generate reliable and dependable statistics of the population of children in Nigeria who fall within the age group that need kindergarten education (3 to 6 years) for proper planning of the provision of services at this level of education spectrum.
- Teacher’s identity and remuneration at this level of education should be enhanced so as to eliminate the existing negative stereotype and attract more intelligent and brilliant teachers for this important and fundamental level of education.
- Professionalism at this level of education should be emphasized so that there will be less brain drain and more of efficiency and effectiveness.
- Government officials should intensify the inspection, supervision and monitoring of kindergarten schools in the nation as this would also facilitate effectiveness of teachers and check various forms of abuses that exist in schools.
- Kindergarten teachers should be further trained on-the-job through regular seminars, workshops, conferences, exchange programmes within and outside Nigeria and the provision of scholarship to study kindergarten education overseas.
- Kindergarten teachers should be trained in the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for relevance in the twenty-first century Nigeria and a globalized world.
- Appropriate Curriculum and the Minimum Standard for the establishment of kindergarten schools should be widely circulated for uniformity of practices in such schools.
- Parents and Guardians should love and care for their children, provide the enabling environment for the development of the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains through guided play and endeavour to build in self-esteem and confidence in the children during these formative years of their development.
- Parents, Guardians and other stakeholders (members of the communities where kindergarten schools are established, Philanthropists, wealthy individuals, Media groups, Companies, through social corporate responsibility, religious organizations, local and international organizations, Government at all levels, etc.) should invest on and support the Non-governmental organizations should net-work for exchange of ideas, accessing funds and other forms of assistance from United Nations (UN) Agencies and for sustained advocacy for Kindergarten Education in Nigeria. Kindergarten schools should be widespread in the rural areas and should conform to world standards especially in this competitive twenty-first century globalized world.
PROF. AMAKIEVI O. I. GABRIEL Dame Judith Amaechi
Chairman, Conference Planning Committee Wife of Executive Governor
Rivers State, Initiator/Founder ESI
Administrator, Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI)