The Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has launched Lively Minds Together, a radio show geared towards early childhood development in the Northern Region in Tamale.
The radio show is run by the Ghana Educational Service (GES).
It seeks to support parents and caregivers of Kindergarten-age children with ideas, motivation and confidence to try activities at home that support children’s development.
Each week two hour-long episodes will be delivered in local languages across a network of 19 radio stations.
The programme will be available in Akuapem Twi, Buli, Dagaare, Dagbanli, Ewe, Gonja, Gurune, Kasem, Kusaal, Likpakpal, Mampruli, Moar, Nabt, Tamplima, Twi, Sisaale and Waale.
One episode will be a ‘parenting’ episode giving ideas and activities for parents and caregivers to try at home.
The other episode will be a play episode that teaches parents and caregivers educational games to try at home.
Each episode will include a phone-in at the end, giving listeners the chance to share their experiences with previous activities.
Both live episodes will be repeated later in the week, meaning there will be 4 hours of broadcasting each week in each language.
The keynote speaker, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh restated his commitment to Early Childhood Education and care at the launch, and said, “This programme has incredible potential to contribute to the transformation of Early Childhood Education and Care in Ghana in the short, medium and long term. As Minister for Education, I am committed to ensuring that all children are provided with the opportunity for learning.”
He added, “Up to the age of 7, children’s brains are growing and developing fast. We cannot miss these crucial windows of opportunity. The opportunities to learn and develop during these years include thinking skills, physical, social and emotional development cannot be replaced. Research shows that investments in early childhood can have high returns in terms of future educational attainment and well-being,” he added.
The Education Minister echoed this message, “Empowering parents and other caregivers is the pathway to the development of the next generation of learners and citizens.”
He reminded the audience that: “All parents and caregivers can be excellent teachers. I would urge all parents and caregivers to listen.”
Chair of the GES Council, Michael Nsowah said: “Children do not just require teaching and learning. They also require care, attention, support, nourishment, play, rest, encouragement and more. This nurturing care can only be provided by caregivers”.
Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh had a message for the GES teams running the programme: “You should be proud to be on the front line and supporting Ghana’s children and families.”