IICBA participates in Expert Consultative Meeting of the African Regional ECCE Workforce Initiative in Mauritius from 06-08 June 2017

The 'Africa Regional ECCE Workforce Initiative' is a regional project that tries to bring Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) global and regional actors on the African continent together to advance achievements for young children and their families. The initiative is currently chaired by the ADEA Inter-Country Quality Node for Early Childhood Development (ICQN ECD) and it is hosted at the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Mauritius.

IICBA, represented by Dr. Binyam Sisay, took part in an expert consultative meeting organized by Inter-Country Quality Node for Early Childhood Development (ICQN ECD) in collaboration with the African Early Childhood Network (AfECN) in Mauritius from the 06-08 June 2017.

The working meeting brought together government officials from selected countries engaged in ECCE expansion, together with academics and civil society actors to deliberate on ECCE workforce problem solving. On the 6th of June 2017, the consultative meeting was officially opened by the Hon. (Mrs) Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun who is the Minister of Education and Human Resources and Tertiary Education and Scientific Research of the Republic of Mauritius.

The first two days of the meeting were facilitated by Ms. Sheeri Le Mottee of the World Bank and the sessions mainly dealt with identifying the characteristics of ECCE delivery in Africa and its gaps. The sessions also deliberated on defining and describing the workforce needed for the delivery of quality and low-cost early learning in Africa. Accordingly, main characteristics of the ECCE workforce in Africa has been identified and potentially effective tools for building the capacity of the workforce and its management has been discussed. Then, the third day of the meeting has been dedicated to review of training modules prepared by African Early Childhood Network (AfECN). The modules were exhaustively discussed and comments for improvements were provided.

The consultative meeting ended with identifying immediate steps to be taken towards a 3-year workforce capacity building action plan (project) for selected countries and agreeing on ways of expanding the network of the initiative. In addition, inputs to develop a guidance note has been collected and the note will be used to conduct a capacity building workshop in November 2017 to be held in Mauritius. Finally, AfECN will use the comments and suggestions provided in the workshop to improve the modules and get them ready for use.

IICBA will partner with the initiative to closely work with stakeholders to build the capacity of early years teachers across Africa. Accordingly, IICBA will continue to actively participate in the works of ICQN ECD and jointly organize the capacity building workshop planned for November 2017.