Ministry of Education, Right to Play launch forum to promote playful learning

A national forum to engage stakeholders in education on the scale-up of the integration of play-based learning methodology (PBL) in teaching and learning in Ghanaian classrooms has been launched in Accra. 

Dubbed Annual National Level Forum on Learning through Play, the event provides a platform for stakeholders such as the Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service, National Teaching Council, universities, educators, UNICEF-Ghana, colleges of education and other non-governmental organizations to promote quality primary education through the power of play. 

The maiden event which took place at the Alisa Hotel in Accra on Thursday, December 9, 2021, was under the theme “Promoting quality teaching and learning in Ghanaian classrooms: A collaborative approach to scaling up the integration of play-based learning.” 

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Education, John Ntim Fordjour said partnership in the area of education “thrives on commitment and goodwill from the government.” 

He explained that the Ministry of Education has been working with stakeholders in education to improve the learning outcome of Ghanaian children. 

“[The Ministry of Education has] collaborated with Right To Play and Sabre Education to support the GES/ECE Department in the development of the training framework and content for ECE teachers focusing on the use of learning through play to deliver the ECE curriculum,” he said. 

Mr Ntim Fordjour also noted that the Ministry of Education is collaborating with partners, including Right To Play to review training materials on differentiated learning “where Learning Through Play approaches, use of Reflect-Connect-Apply questioning techniques have been integrated into the materials to support and improve teachers skills of asking questions.” 

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“[The Ministry of Education has] collaborated with Right To Play and the University of Education, Winneba and its affiliated colleges of education, to integrate learning through play pedagogies into the pre-service teacher training courses. 

In that regard, 54 lecturers in the 4 departments within the education studies and psychology in the University of Education have been trained on learning through play as a measure to integrate learning through play into course content,” the Deputy Minister of Education said. 

Speaking at the Forum, Country Director of Right To Play Ghana, Josephine Mukakalisa said play is the key to the development and academic performance of children. 

“In the past few years, no one could imagine that we can gather as we are now to talk about play. Play that was considered as fun, leisure and sometimes a waste of time is becoming an important business [which] is an integral part of a child’s early years foundation and age and its support his learning journey,” she said. 

According to Madam Mukakalisa, there are countless testimonies on the impact of play-based methodology from teachers who engage learners daily in the learning process.  

“We know as we are here in the room that play is very important to a child’s development. It helps children to develop language, emotion, creativity and social skills,” the Country Director of Right To Play Ghana said. 

There were testimonies by teachers and children at the Forum on the effect the innovative play-based learning methodology is having on both learners and their facilitators.  

A teacher from Ga South Abigail Havor said her style of teaching has changed for the better because of the incorporation of playful learning during lesson delivery. “The impact of Play-based learning methodology (PBL) is great and profound,” she said. 

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The Annual National Level Forum on Learning through Play is being facilitated by Right To Play and the Ministry of Education and its agencies under the Partners in Play Project (P3) being implemented in three regions across Ghana, with funding from The LEGO Foundation.