Early Childhood Education (ECE) Summer School Programme reaches every child through play
Thanks to Early Childhood Education (ECE) summer school, children learn and develop their basic skills
25-26 August 2022 Hatay, Türkiye- “I am happy here because I am playing, studying and learning at the same time.” says Elman excitedly. He is one of the children who improved his Turkish language and basic skills thanks to the Early Childhood Education (ECE) summer school programme implemented with the cooperation of Ministry of National Education (MoNE) and UNICEF.
“These children have been selected among those who have no financial means and have not benefited from any ECE services before. Early Childhood Education (ECE) summer school is a programme that accelerates the Turkish language learning, and helps social development of children. In the preparation process for primary school, they can complete their orientation more quickly and adapt to their teachers,friends and school environment.” Elif teacher explains the programme.
Esma said, “I love doing homework, activities, and playing games.” She poses with her favorite frog. “I was feeling shy when I first came here, but now I'm fine because I'm not afraid anymore, because my teacher is a lovely person, she teaches me many things. I want to go to 1st grade.” When Esma grows up, she wants to be a dentist and also a police officer to catch bad guys. “Esma was too shy, but her self-confidence improved after she attended the ECE summer school programme and she started to express herself more easily by getting along with her peers. ' says Esma's mother.
The Early Childhood Education Sumer School programme is implemented in 90 schools in 9 provinces in Southeast Türkiye, through a partnership between UNICEF and Ministry of National Education with the financial support of the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM). The program targets vulnerable refugee and Turkish children who have never benefited from the ECE services before and will start the first grade in next school year.
Miran, one of the children in the ECE summer school, excitedly says she likes to be here because she learned Turkish from her teachers. “I want to be a teacher when I grow up because I want to teach Turkish to children too.” she says.
Maram sings the nursery rhyme, 'Days of the week seven, Monday….' She learned this nursery rhyme and many other things such as the alphabet and numbers from her teacher at the ECE summer school. She says her favorite thing is playing with her friends. Maram raises her friend and poses in laughter. She takes us to the game side where they like to play at school by holding our hands and wants us to take a picture of her.
“Yellow, green, red…” While Belishan is counting the colors in Turkish, she is in a pink dress. She also tried to improve her Turkish in the ECE summer school. “I am having good time here, I love my friends and my teacher. I also love playing games and playing with Legos.” she says and runs to her friends who are waiting for her to play.
Belishan's teacher said, "We gave particular importance to language development because most of them could not express themselves in Turkish before attending the ECE summer school programme. They express themselves more easily now, the communication between Syrian and Turkish childrenhas improved as well.”
During the ECE summer school, children participated in various activities such as mealtime, reading activities, and garden activties. “Through these activities, they developed their motor skills such as ability to hold a pencil, which is very important for primary school, and learned the classroom rules. The ECE teacher explaines; ‘When the children first came, they didn't even know how to communicate with teachers, we were such strangers to each other. Now they don't look with fear. They started communicating with their teachers and friends.” Children happily start to fly kites that they made themselves, as a part of the garden activities.
“This program greatly improved the social cohesion between the children of families under temporary protection and the children of Turkish families. Especially watching and engaging with each other helped them learn more quickly. Parents are aware that their children have come a long way, and we receive positive feedback from them as well.” says teacher Yeliz.