National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), a parastatal of Federal Ministry of Education with the mandate to build the capacity of education planners and managers in Nigeria and the sub-sahara region organized a 5-day Training Workshop for Caregivers of public primary schools from the South-South and South-East geo-political zones in Nigeria on Early Childhood Care Development Education (ECCDE). This capacity development programme for school managers, aimed at improving the overall quality of education within the education system and create a conducive environment to enhance effective learning amongst others.

The National Training Programme under the auspices of The Office of the Senior Special Assistant to The President on Sustainable Development Goals in conjuction with Federal Ministry of Education is in support of strengthening global citizenship, peace education and capacity building of education sector workers.

Speaking on behalf of the SDGs Office in the Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs. Cordelia Ajaegbu echoed her belief in NIEPA’s expertise and the pool of capable resource persons they have to draw from. According to the Deputy Director, “NIEPA has over the years proven to be a major player in the actualization of SDGs 4 which has to do with education for all. She enjoined the participants to avail themselves of the rare opportunity to enhance their capacities and in turn cascade down skills imbibed during the 5-day workshop.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, Dr. Sunday Oduyemi Adegbesan who doubled as the Head, Training department NIEPA and representative of Professor Olivet Jagusah mni, the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of NIEPA, appreciated OSSAP for the unwavering confidence reposed in NIEPA since the inception of the SDGs programmes in 2015. Dr. Adegbesan assured OSSAP of NIEPA’s unwavering commitment to achieving the SDGs 4 goals which is education for all by 2030. He informed that this year’s programme has been designed to be a clear deviation from previous workshops in that it solely aims at imparting new skills in the participants that will in turn, shape national development. Instruments of measurement and evaluation have been put in place to ascertain learning and change for problem solving have taken place.

There were calls by several participants for NIEPA to replicate these workshops in their home SUBEBs. They attributed the gap in ECCDE development to the erroneous belief that this category of learners are very challenging and difficult to manage. According to Mrs Blessing Obiri, a caregiver from Rivers State SUBEB “This is just the second day of the five-day workshop and I am so glad I am a caregiver. I have imbibed new skills in administering ECCDE curriculum and class management”. The same views were echoed by Mrs. Josephine Ene Bassey and Mrs. Utiome Felicia representing public primary schools from Akwa Ibom and Rivers State respectively.

The Caregivers were also taken through practical lessons in toy making and improvisation, setting up and management of ECCDE centres, strategies used in the teaching and learning experience at ECCDE centres, purpose and objectives of ECCDE education, play in ECCDE among others.

The workshop which began on Monday 7th September came to a close on Friday 11th September, 2020 with certificates and resource packs presented to the participants.