Cambridge University, world’s leading provider of international education programmes, is introducing its inaugural early childhood education initiative to support the education of young children in Nigeria, starting as early as age 3.
This innovative, play-based programme, was introduced in India and is now adapted for Nigeria, has been meticulously crafted to provide children aged 3 to 6 with a solid foundation for life-long learning, enabling them to achieve critical developmental milestones and excel both in and out of the classroom.
Cambridge Early Years serves as the initial phase in the comprehensive Cambridge Pathway, a seamless educational journey for children aged 3 to 19, aimed at ensuring educational success.
Numerous research studies emphasize the pivotal role of early childhood education. Research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) International Early Learning and Child Well-being Study demonstrates that high-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) can have a profound impact, including doubling children’s growth in verbal comprehension compared to average programs.
Cambridge’s decision to expand its educational framework will empower schools in Nigeria and globally to enhance their early childhood education offerings, a development expected to benefit both parents and educators as children progress through their educational journeys.
Rod Smith, Group Managing Director for International Education at Cambridge, noted, “We are all aware of the critical significance of a child’s early years in their development. Research indicates that by providing robust support during this stage, we can significantly influence their future. Our innovative Cambridge Early Years program leverages Cambridge’s unmatched expertise in high-quality education to help Nigerian schools offer children exciting learning experiences, optimizing this vital phase of brain development and setting children on the path to a successful life.”
The Cambridge Early Years program is grounded in Cambridge’s global research on curriculum principles drawn from high-performing education systems, as well as an analysis of best practices in early childhood education and their most influential components. This research led to the identification of 12 fundamental principles that underpin the program. These principles were developed in collaboration with esteemed scholars, researchers, and practitioners in early childhood education. The significance of play-based learning and the gradual transition toward more formal teaching in preparation for primary education are two of the guiding principles shaping every aspect of the program. These principles ensure that children not only gain knowledge from an early age but also acquire the essential skills needed to navigate and adapt to an ever-changing world.
The Cambridge Early Years program offers a flexible framework to support each child’s development and can be customized to meet the unique needs of various schools in Nigeria, providing a tailored teaching solution.
Additionally, specially designed classroom materials and assessments will assist educators in assessing each child’s progress while nurturing their holistic development well beyond the confines of the classroom.
Juan Visser, Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa in International Education at Cambridge, expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “We recognize that a strong early childhood education can significantly impact a child’s entire academic journey, and I am delighted that we are introducing this new stage to the Cambridge Pathway, which has been a long-awaited addition for schools. Our Cambridge Early Years program amalgamates the most effective approaches across the globe with extensive teacher support. We aim to assist Nigerian schools in fostering children’s long-term development and preparing them for the challenges of the world.”
In a bid to streamline early childhood education, Cambridge’s collaborative research with schools worldwide revealed that early years education often lacks cohesion, as it draws from various resources, curricula, assessments, and training methods. This lack of coherence can make it challenging to assess children’s progress and identify the most effective approaches for their development.
Cambridge’s comprehensive approach ensures that all elements work harmoniously, empowering schools to provide learners with a comprehensive and high-quality early childhood education experience.
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