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Training Professionals for Quality ECCD Practice: Lessons from the Madrasa Programme and AKF. Najma Rashid, Madrasa Programme Kathy Bartlett, AKF. Quality ECD – Starts with…. Caring, responsive adult(s) who have access to Training, mentoring and other supports

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Training Professionals for Quality ECCD Practice: Lessons from the Madrasa Programme and AKF

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Training professionals for quality eccd practice lessons from the madrasa programme and akf

Training Professionals for Quality ECCD Practice: Lessons from the Madrasa Programme and AKF

Najma Rashid, Madrasa Programme

Kathy Bartlett, AKF

Quality ecd starts with

Quality ECD – Starts with…..

Caring, responsive adult(s) who have access to

Training, mentoring and other supports

Diverse learning materials that children can use directly and often

Safe, secure spaces

Quality training for eccd workers

Quality Training for ECCD Workers

  • Builds on positive local cultural values, language, beliefs and strengths

  • Incorporates knowledge, skills and understanding that promote positive early growth, health and development (science- and evidence-based)

  • Requires skilled trainers grounded in ECD practice – not just theory

  • Ensures multiple opportunities for guided practice of new skills and knowledge which is built into training and the initial years of work

Training should help ecd staff to assess and understand

Training should help ECD staff to assess and understand:

  • Local Community Contexts:

    • Needs and priorities of families and communities

    • Cultural beliefs and values (e.g. language, stories, child-rearing practices)

    • Available resources especially human but also material, financial (e.g. females from community who can be trained as ECD workers)

Quality training encourages

Quality Training Encourages…

  • Links to parents

    • Reading for Children

    • Inviting parents to participate in the ECD centres’ efforts

  • Links with health centres

    • Growth, Monitoring, etc

  • Links with primary schools

    • Easing transition for children

    • Assisting Grade 1 teachers to use/make teaching and learning materials

The east african madrasa early childhood programme

The East African Madrasa Early Childhood Programme

Training professionals for quality eccd practice lessons from the madrasa programme and akf

“Many early childhood programmes are initiated without the understanding of the communities’ actual needs or consideration of culture, religious beliefs or traditional values. As a result many communities do not participate in the programmes as fully as expected.”

Bi Swafiya Said, First Trainer, Director and

Co-Developer of the Madrasa Programme

The madrasa programme key features

The Madrasa Programme Key Features

  • Two distinctive components- centre and field-based training

  • Training linked closely with regular visits that offer mentoring (not just inspection)

  • Materials development – rich array using locally available items, resources

  • Linked work with local management committee and parents to ensure consistency for supporting active learning and supports for children’s development

Observation by an external evaluator

Observation by an External Evaluator

  • The mentoring process is the “mainstay” of the teaching success in the learning programme. This unique feature distinguishes the training from other common training approaches which rely on course work training activities alone.

Ingredients of active teaching learning

Ingredients of Active teaching & learning

MAMACHOLASU represents the five dimensions

  • Materials,

  • Manipulation,

  • Choice,

  • Language and

  • Support of the Curriculum.

Mrc training evolving to improve quality and cost effectiveness

MRC Training: Evolving to Improve Quality and Cost-Effectiveness

Costing-Study Undertaken for all MRCs – Training Revised

  • The MRCs in Kenya and Uganda training coincides with regular school holidays. Trainees attend 3-week sessions 3 x per year. This schedule allows candidates to complete their training over one year reducing training costs and travel expenses. MRC staff are also able to concentrate on other activities during the school term.

    In Zanzibar -- the orientation runs for 2 weeks, 6 hours each day and thereafter each Saturday for a whole year while on site support to all teachers is done once a week

Teacher training content

Teacher Training Content.

Part I: Supporting Early Childhood Development

  • The Child

  • The Teacher

  • Transition

  • Inclusive Education

  • The Integrated Approach

  • Planning and Assessment

  • Play as an Avenue to Learning

  • The Learning Environment

  • The Madrasa Pre-school Daily Routine

  • Involving Parents and other Stakeholders

Teacher training content cont

Teacher Training Content cont.

Part II: Essential Learning Experiences at the Madrasa Pre-school

  • Islam

  • Mathematics

  • Language and Literacy

  • Interacting with and Caring for the Environment

  • Social and Emotional Development

  • Creative Arts

  • Health Education

  • Music (Songs, Poetry and Movement)

  • Physical Education

Key features

Key Features

  • Peer Planning Sessions: Conducted at the MRC and facilitated by the trainer-mentor. They ensure all teachers understand how to implement curriculum

  • Teacher assessment is continuous and involves both written and practical aspects

  • Material development, usage, storage and replenishment is also assessed

  • Individual and team project work encouraged

  • Teachers receive MRC certificatesthrough achieving and demonstrating expected levels

Creating and maintaining quality

Creating and Maintaining Quality

  • MRCs encourage continuous teacher development and quality improvement

    • Nurturing Lead Teachers and Head Teachers

    • Developing cluster system and peer support

    • Refresher courses -- minimum of 2 in a year

    • Providing an avenue for professional development, government accreditation

    • Offering employment opportunities for local women

Creating sustainability and local support system

Creating Sustainability and Local Support System

  • Community mobilization and involvement -- community partnership contracts

  • Capacity building and sharing of roles and responsibilities across community and School Management Committees

  • Collaboration with other stakeholders in the community towards holistic child development

Outreach work egypt afghanistan and other non madrasa teachers

Outreach Work: Egypt, Afghanistan and other non-madrasa teachers

  • Emphasis has been on Active Learning methodologies, Islamic integration, importance of low cost/high value materials and setting up learning areas.

  • Adapting for new contexts and settings

  • Collaboration and partnerships with Government and other civil society organisations

Examples of outreach

Examples of Outreach

  • Kenya: collaboration and joint training with DICECEs, NGOs, transition work with lower primary teachers

  • Uganda: collaboration to expand use of madrasa approach in West Nile, Northern, Eastern Uganda with MoE, transition work with lower primary & PTTCs

  • Zanzibar: Training other pre-school teachers and trainers, transition work in lower primary classes

  • Tanzania: Expansion thru collaboration withDistrict Education efforts – Mtwara, Lindi

Research findings

Research Findings

  • Children who attended pre-school education were more ready than those who stayed at home

  • Children in madrasa pre-schools had stronger outcomes in terms of language, problem solving

  • Using quality scale for pre-school environments, madrasa pre-schools were higher – link between quality of environment and outcomes of children



  • This programme can be adapted to fit into different contexts

  • Adults with limited education (Grade 8 – 10) can be trained to deliver quality interventions in low income settings

  • Mentoring linked to training, leveraging local resources, sustaining efforts through partnerships are all key

Other akf ecd programme examples

RCC in Pakistan works to set-up pre-school classes in primary schools

Local women are teachers


Mother Teachers in India

Local women work side-by-side with teachers to ensure transition, bring in local songs, games


Revised full-day KG to half day (serves double the children)

Summer yurt KGs for nomads

Reading for children


Parents, other family members encouraged to look at and/or read books they bring home. It helps newly literate parents and older siblings

Other AKF ECD Programme Examples

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