One-day orientation workshop on ECCD

The Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service (GES), on Wednesday organized a one-day orientation workshop on Ghana's Early Childhood, Care and Development (ECCD) policy at Takoradi. The workshop, which was attended by District Chief Executives, Directors of Education, Ghana Health Service (GHS), Department of Social welfare and the clergy, was aimed at mainstreaming ECCD into related sector plans and strategies at the Regional and District levels. Mr John Hackman, Western Regional Director of the Department of Children, said the ECCD policy focuses on a multi-sector and holistic approach towards the development of children and the broad goal of the policy was to promote the survival, growth and development of all children between zero and eight years. He said the rationale behind the development of the policy was the need to address the poor situation of children, to streamline the activities of all stakeholders in ECCD and have an ECCD policy to attract support from all stakeholders who have resources for the sector. Mr Clarke Noyoru, Focal Person of the Human Trafficking Secretariat of MOWAC, said as a result of the implementation of the ECCD, the GHS initiated child related health initiatives. These are Child Health Promotion Week, Maternal and Child Health Campaigns, the Expanded Programme on Immunization, Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission and the Roll Back Malaria Programme. These health initiatives have led to a 30 per cent reduction in Child Mortality, decrease in underweight children from 22 per cent in 2003 to 18 per cent in 2006, increase in baby friendly facilities from 86 in 2003 to 211 in 2006, increase in Vitamin A Supplementation to 80 per cent and improvement in the Expanded Programme on Immunization. Mr Noyoru said advocacy had played a significant role in promoting ECCD programmes and as a result, birth registration had increased from 17 per cent in 2002 to 62 per cent in 2007. Mr Victor Yanney, Planning Officer at the Regional Education Office, said 687,643 children enrolled in kindergartens in the region in 2003/04 academic year, total enrolment for 2007/08 was 1,262,264 and in 2008/09 1,338, 454. Enrolment in Primary School in 2003/04 was 2,957,491, in 2007/08 it was 3, 622,724 and in 2008/09 it was 3.710,647, Enrolment in junior high schools for 2003/04 was it was 948,111, in 2005/06 it was 1,224,964 and in 2008/09 it was 1,285,577.