Experts in early childhood education and development have called for the overhaul and improvement of the country’s education curriculum to ensure children’s creative thinking skills at an early age in order to prepare them for the challenges of a modern society.
According to the experts, early childhood development is essential for growth and development of any nation as it ensures the manpower development critical to its survival is developed.
The educationists spoke at a round table conference organised by the School of Education, Federal College of Education (FCE) Technical Akoka, Lagos in conjunction with the Early Childhood Association of Nigeria (ECAN) with the theme: Enhancing Creativity and Critical Thinking Skills among School Children in Post COVID-19 Era.
Provost of the college, Dr. Ademola Azeez, noted that early childhood education is the basic foundation for an effective primary education, explaining that “children are like sponges and breakable plates that need to be handled carefully and cherished like diamond.”
The host and Dean School of Education, FCE (T) Akoka, Dr Olukemi Oyetubo said the conference, the first by the college department of primary education was put together to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the African Child.
Dr. Olukemi said, “The day of the African Child is set aside to encourage people around the world to realize the importance of improving the education in Africa and particularly Nigeria. It is an event to create awareness of the importance of the child and to emphasize the need to educate children especially those between the age of 1 and 18 years.”
In his contributions, a senior lecturer at the Department of Arts and Social Sciences Education University of Lagos, Dr. Olumide Ige, noted that to prepare the Nigerian child for future endeavours, they must be equip with inter-disciplinary skills why are non-negotiable in the 21st century world.
Chairman, Local Organising Committee, Mrs Akeredolu Olukemi said “The round table conference is to celebrate all African children in commemoration of the June 16th 1976 students uprising in Soweto South Africa, where students who marched in protest against Apartheid segregated education were brutally murdered.
“Thus the international day of the African child was created in 1991 to honour the departed souls; and 16th of June has hence been set aside by the African Union member states as a day to create awareness for the need to improve the education of children living across Africa.”