INNOTECH and CECCEP co-organize ECCD webinar
On 17 May 2022, SEAMEO Centers INNOTECH and CECCEP co-organized the “Ensuring Continuity of Learning in ECCD: A Webinar on Inclusive Early Childhood Care and Development.” The webinar was held in Zoom and broadcasted in Facebook and YouTube, gathering around 500 participants and viewers from different countries in Southeast Asia.
The half-day webinar emphasized the importance of early childhood care and development, especially during the pandemic. It mainly focused on three areas—ensuring inclusive early childhood care and development; teaching young learners during a pandemic; and the role of parents as learning partners. With the presentations from the experts of INNOTECH and CECCEP, and through the sharing of best practices of selected teachers, the participants were introduced to different programs that can help ensure an inclusive, meaningful, and joyful learning experience for young learners.
Early childhood, or the age 0-8 years, is an important period in a person’s growth and development. These years are considered crucial to a person’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development, making it an important window of opportunity for education. However, the issue of achieving inclusivity in education, particularly in early childhood care and development (ECCD), is a complex challenge. This requires addressing various issues surrounding and affecting access to and quality of ECCD programs. The barriers in achieving an inclusive ECCD were further heightened by the global pandemic that resulted to the closing of schools and halting of early childhood development programs worldwide.
“Addressing these challenges [in ECCD] needs the cooperation of various stakeholders—from government offices, non-government organization, and private sector, down to the families and communities,” said Dr. Ramon C. Bacani, Director of SEAMEO INNOTECH, in his welcome message. He emphasized that the collaboration of different institution is essential in providing better and more responsive ECCD programs, especially in challenging times.
The importance of collaboration among stakeholders, especially the teachers and parents, is further emphasized by Mr. Muhammad Hasbi, Director of the Early Childhood Education, Ministry of Education Culture, Research and Technology of Indonesia, in his opening remarks. “In this era of recovery, we need to continue to thrive and ensure that in varying context, we can always provide independent quality learning experiences for early children,” he said.
The pandemic put great pressure on teachers as they strive to provide an early learning program amidst the imposed distance learning. Parents and caregivers were also put on the spotlight as they assume bigger roles in their child’s learning.
Through the webinar sessions, participants were able to know more about Inquiry-based Teaching and Learning, a pedagogical approach that can be applied in formal classroom setup and at home. IBTL’s application in classrooms have been further explained through a breakout session facilitated by one of the winners of the Southeast Asian Educational Innovation Award, Dr. Joana Romano. Different ways on how parents can support their child’s learning at home were also discussed through a breakout session facilitated by Dr. Dwi Hastuti from the IBP University in Indonesia. Moreover, best practices of ECCD programs implemented within the community were shared through the breakout session facilitated by Ms. Jenny Mercado, Division Head of the Early Childhood Education Division of Muntinlupa City.
(Videos of the breakout sessions will be uploaded on the SEAMEO INNOTECH YouTube Channel)
In the synthesis of Dr. Teresita Inciong, Vice-Chairperson and Executive Director of the ECCD Council of the Philippines, she highlighted that when children are engaged in learning activities both in school and home, they can strengthen their development in different domains by better understanding concepts and contexts through exploration, collaboration and coordination. This also emphasizes the involvement of parents, caregivers, and the community in increasing the child’s interest in learning and development, positive behavior, and openness and confidence.
“Ensuring Continuity of Learning in ECCD: A Webinar on Inclusive Early Childhood Care and Development” is part of the series of knowledge exchange activities of SEAMEO INNOTECH. The webinar was made possible with the support of the government agencies handling early childhood development in Indonesia and the Philippines—the Early Childhood Education, Ministry of Education Culture, Research and Technology of Indonesia, and the Early Childhood Care and Development Council of the Philippines.
You can access the webinar materials here: https://bit.ly/ECCDWeb-Kit
Watch the full webinar below: