A non-governmental organization, Right To Play, has held a stakeholder meeting to assess and discuss the outcomes of play-based learning approaches implemented in various schools across the country.
Stakeholders within the educational sector; education directors, school heads, and education policy analysts shared suggestions on improving the projects within Right To Play’s operational districts in different regions of the country.
The Director General of the Ghana Education Service, Dr Eric Nkansah in a speech read on his behalf said his outfit has been working to build the capacity of teachers to integrate learning through play and other creative pedagogies into lessons delivery to motivate learners to complete their education with improved outcomes.
“Play-based learning and other creative pedagogies have been contextualized and included in the national curriculum as recommended methodologies to support the achievement of the learning objectives of the curriculum,” he said.
“There is still a long way to go however with the coordinated effort we will all put an end to low literacy rates in the country and we will increase the number of children, especially girls who can access higher education and all the faculties,” he added.
While lauding Right To Play and its partners for the learning through play project, he said the education service will strengthen its partnership to support the vision of the education ministry to transform education in the country.
The Country Director of Right To Play Ghana, Josephine Mukakalisa in an interview said they are happy with the feedback received from stakeholders especially as it shows the level of impact Right to Play’s project is having on education outcomes.
“The partners are happy with the partnership [and] with the support we provide we are able to build the capacity of the teachers on the use of play-based learning and other interactive approaches to deliver the curriculum to make sure that the children are engaging and understanding what is being taught,” she said.
Responding to calls for more investments to expand the NGO’s activities nationwide, she said while the organization strongly believes that the positive outcomes of the project are worth replicating across the country, limited resources may make it impossible.
However, “Right To Play is committed to supporting the Ministry of Education through their existing structures to build the capacity of all teachers to use play-based approaches in engaging pupils”, she assured.
“We wish that all schools are benefiting from a proper understanding and delivery of the educational curriculum but NGO resources are limited, the Ministry of Education systems are there and there are good plans for continuous development of the teachers,” she added, stressing that Right To Play is developing online materials to support the National Teaching Council’s virtual training programme for teachers.
Meanwhile, Cecilia Onchoa, senior program specialist at the LEGO Foundation which has been supporting Right To Play’s ‘partners in play’ project since 2020 says “the way the teachers, education authorities at all levels have embraced it [the project] is gratifying to us because we see this project as ultimately contributing to Ghana’s aims for children and this is a vehicle for making the vision of the Ministry of Education for having critical thinking students realized.”
The foundation said it was also getting research done to look at the impact of the project “not just in terms of literacy and numeracy but also the broader life skills they [children] have and being creative with solving problems.”