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REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, SCIENCE, VOCATIONAL
TRAINING AND EARLY EDUCATION
The Zambia Early Childhood Education
Curriculum Framework for Colleges of
Education
2013
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The Zambia Early Childhood Education Curriculum
Framework for Colleges of Education
Published by Teacher Education and Specialised Services
Teacher Education Section
Pre-Service Unit
P.O. Box 50093
LUSAKA
Copyright © 2013 by the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early
Education
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the
copyright owner.
Published by:
Teacher Education and Specialised Services
Teacher Education Section
Pre-Service Unit
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P.O. Box 50093
LUSAKA
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS............................................................................................................iii
PREFACE ..................................................................................................................................iv
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS...........................................................................................................v
ACRONYMS..............................................................................................................................vi
DEFINITION OF TERMS.........................................................................................................vi
THE ECE CURRICULUM FORMULATION CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK ......................... viii
1. Principles in the Curriculum formulation Process........................................................................ viii
2. Issues in the Curriculum Formulation Process............................................................................ viii
2.1. Vision ........................................................................................................................................viii
2.2 Values .........................................................................................................................................ix
2.3 Key Competences .....................................................................................................................ix
2.4 Subjects.......................................................................................................................................x
3. CONCLUSION ......................................................................................................................................x
CHAPTER ONE........................................................................................................................11
THE ECE TEACHER EDUCATION CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK...........................................................11
ECE CURRICULUM SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS........................................................................................12
THE FOCUS OF THE NEW ECE TEACHER EDUCATION CURRICULUM..............................................13
CHAPTER TWO.......................................................................................................................14
POLICIES AND PRINCIPLES.....................................................................................................................14
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND AGREEMENTTS......................................................................16
ECE GUIDING PRINCIPLES......................................................................................................................16
CHAPTER THREE ...................................................................................................................18
NATIONAL CONCERNS (CROSS-CUTTING THEMES) .....................................................................................18
CHAPTER FOUR .....................................................................................................................21
ECE CURRICULUM STRUCTURE..............................................................................................................21
EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE, DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION ..........................................................21
THE ECE TEACHER EDUCATION CURRICULUM STRUCTURE.............................................................23
CURRICULUM FOR ECE - TEACHER EDUCATION.................................................................................25
CHAPTER FIVE .......................................................................................................................27
EFFECTIVE ECE CURRICULUM IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES......................................................27
REFERENCES ..........................................................................................................................30
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PREFACE
In 1996, the Ministry of Education developed the National Policy on Education, ‘Educating
Our Future’, in order to respond to the developmental needs of the nation as well as those
of the individual learners. This policy has seen increased emphasis on Early Childhood
Education (ECE) by dedicating chapter two to policies and strategies for ECE provision.
It is against this background that the Zambia Early Childhood Education Curriculum
Framework for Colleges of Education has been developed to provide policy guidelines for
the development of the ECE curriculum for training teachers at ECE level.
This framework, therefore, provides curriculum guidelines as well as the scope and
structure for ECE teacher education programmes. In addition, the framework becomes
the basis for the development and procurement of teaching and learning materials.
The framework has been developed through a consultative process in liaison with the
Ministry’s Directorates, public and private Universities and Colleges of Education.
I wish to convey the Ministry’s sincere gratitude to each and every person and institutions
that contributed to the development of this ECE Curriculum Framework for Colleges of
Education.
Chishimba Nkosha
Permanent Secretary – Education Division
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, SCIENCE,
VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND EARLY EDUCATION
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Curriculum development is a consultative and participatory process. Therefore, the
development of the Zambia Early Childhood Education Curriculum Framework for Colleges
of Education could not have been achieved without the cooperation of various
stakeholders within and outside the education system.
Special thanks go to the Directorate of Standards and Curriculum for producing the initial
curriculum framework document. Thanks also go to the public and private Universities and
Colleges of Education, Zambia Pre-School Association (ZPA), Early Childhood Teachers and
Trainers Association of Zambia (ETTAZ) and the Flemish Association for Development
Cooperation and Technical Assistance (VVOB) for their tireless contributions during the
consultative process.
I also recognise the effort of the … who were part of the team that spearheaded the
process of formulating the ECE Curriculum Framework for colleges of education.
May I also recognise UNICEF, Zambia for supporting the Ministry in the entire process of
producing the ECE Curriculum Framework for colleges of education.
Dr. Vincent Chiyongo
Director – Teacher Education and Specialised Services (TESS)
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, SCIENCE,
VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND EARLY EDUCATION
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ACRONYMS
AIDS
CDAZ
CDC
CPD
DODE
ECCDE
ECE
ECZ
TESS
S & C
GCE
HIV
ICT
MDGs
MESVTEE
NGOs
ODL
PE
SADC
SS
SEN
SHN
SNDP
UN
UNZA
VVOB
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
Child Development Assessment for Zambia
Curriculum Development Centre
Continuous Professional Development
Directorate of Open and Distance Education
Early Childhood Care, Development and Education
Early Childhood Education
Examinations Council of Zambia
Teacher Education and Specialised Services
Standards and Curriculum
General Certificate of Education
Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Information and Communications Technology
Millennium Development Goals
Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education
Non-Governmental Organizations
Open and Distance Learning
Physical Education
Southern Africa Development Community
Social Studies
Special Educational Needs
School Health and Nutrition
Sixth National Development Plan
United Nations
University of Zambia
Flemish Association for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Co-Curricular Play and educational activities that complement
academic learning. They also include the general
character and organization of an institution of
learning.
Cross-Cutting Issues Issues that touch on general principles such as
democracy, good governance, gender equality,
sustainable environment, life skills and HIV and
AIDS.
Curriculum A prescribed programme of study for learners in
institutions of learning.
Distance Education Learning that is done through open and distance
programmes.
Early Childhood Education Education provided to young children of 3-6
years which prepares them for formal schooling.
Entrepreneurship Education This is the type of education which instils
entrepreneurial skills to learners.
Familiar Zambian Language A local language that is commonly used by
children in a particular locality. It could be a
zone or a community language.
Learning Area A study discipline consisting of learning
experiences drawn from different subjects.
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Lower Primary Education Refers to the education offered to Grades 1–4
learners.
Middle Primary Education Refers to the education offered to Grades 5–7
learners.
School Experience This is a programme through which teacher
trainees undertake school based teaching.
Social Interaction This is the interaction that takes place among
children involving guided and unguided play
activities in an organized environment in order to
overcome their social barriers.
Special Educational Needs Refers to the education services and strategies
provided to learners with different abilities and
challenges.
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THE ECE CURRICULUM FORMULATION CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
In order to have a clear and focussed direction of the curriculum formulation, a conceptual
framework had to be developed. This conceptual framework served as a guide to all the
participants involved in the ECE National Teacher Education curriculum formulation
process. The concept outlined the principles and key issues in the formulation process.
There are many pressures for the ECE teacher education curriculum formulation, including
responding to internal and external requirements driven by the Government or
professional bodies, the need to create and maintain the learning “market”, delineating
content, delivering that content, and developing learners.
1. Principles in the Curriculum formulation Process
Although there are different approaches to curriculum formulation, it is possible to isolate
a number of the basic principles.
These are that the:
(a) Curriculum Formulation needs to result in curricula which are:
 holistic and coherent;
 comprehensive, diversified, inclusive, and accessible;
 learner-centred and interactive;
 encouraging independence in learning; and
 interlinked from ECE to primary levels of education.
(b) Curriculum Formulation needs to take into account the:
 nature and characteristics of the learners;
 type and quality of intakes into the Teacher Education system;
 organisation and management of the learning environment;
 teaching and learning resources;
 academic and support staff (assistant teachers); and
 learning environment and opportunities.
2. Issues in the Curriculum Formulation Process
2.1. Vision
To produce holistic ECE teachers who are:
 of sound academic background;
 good at understanding how children learn;
 able to use appropriate methods/active learning/teaching methods;
 able to design teaching/learning materials;
 able to motivate children to learn;
 knowledgeable in counselling;
 able to show good Research skills;
 trained in ECE;
 able to show a good sense of humour;
 able to possess ICT skills;
 creative, innovative and productive;
 connected to family, community, national and global developments;
 capable of learning and living with others;
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 life-long learners; and
 leaders and agents of change in the transformation of the society.
2.2 Values
 Excellence
 Innovation, creativity, inquiry and curiosity
 Diversity
 Equity and empathy
 Citizenry, community and participation
 Honesty and integrity
 Respect and honour
 Love
 Professionalism
 Discipline
 Tolerance
 Patriotism
 Hardworking and active
 Good interpersonal skills
 Must understand environmental issues/cleanliness and care for environment
 be a role model
 be an agent of change
 be able to interpret government policy & legislative laws
 Confident and assertive
 Cultural awareness
 Possess entrepreneurship and vocational skills
 Hospitality skills and inspirational
 Sound moral standing
 Effective communicator
 Sensitive to the needs of learners
 Maturity
 Open mindedness
 Leadership skills
 Must be a critical thinker
 Must be strong in content and pedagogical skills
2.3 Key Competences
 Critical, analytic, strategic, and creative thinking
 Problem-solving
 Effective use of language, symbols and text
 Self-management
 Relationships with others
 Participation and teamwork
 Innovation
 Entrepreneurship and productivity
 Life Skills
 Civic competences
 ICT skills
 Research skills
 Mastery of subject matter and pedagogy
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2.4 Subjects
 Environmental Science
 Design and Technology
 Entrepreneurship
 Mathematics
 Performing and Creative Arts
 Languages
 Social Sciences
 Business studies
 Religious Knowledge
 Health Education
 Physical Education
 Community Studies
 Environmental Education
 Information and Communication Technology
3. CONCLUSION
The ECE Conceptual Framework was drawn on common practices in the Curriculum
Formulation and Development. The various influences are illustrated below:
Curriculum
Framework
Vision
Key
CompetencesValues
Subjects
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CHAPTER ONE
THE ECE TEACHER EDUCATION CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK
INTRODUCTION
The Zambia ECE Curriculum Framework is a guide and set of binding regulations for all
Colleges of Education both public and private that are involved in the provision of ECE
teacher education programmes. It shall function as a tool to teacher-
educators/instructors in the implementation of the national policy on ECE. The
provision of ECE in Zambia is guided by the democratic principles of liberalisation,
decentralisation, equality, equity, partnership and accountability. The principles of
liberalisation and decentralisation entail that many individuals and organisations are
involved in the provision and management of ECE, therefore, the need to develop a
standard ECE curriculum regulatory framework to be followed by all.
According to the Education Act of 2011, the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational
Training and Early Education (MESVTEE) is the custodian of quality education
provision and will ensure that all providers adhere to the policy and regulations on ECE
curriculum. Therefore, all colleges of education should have the ECE curriculum
framework and other important ECE curriculum-related documents and the syllabuses.
These documents shall function as daily guides and tools to ensure the provision of
quality ECE.
In order to keep the curriculum up to date, ECE curriculum framework will be
reviewed comprehensively every after ten (10) years in response to change-drivers
that will include Political, Economical, Social, Technological, Ecological and Legal
Factors. However, curriculum support materials such as ECE syllabuses and books
should be reviewed after every five (5) years in order to keep the teaching and
learning content up to date.
While the ECE curriculum framework contains a number of binding regulations for
colleges of education; it defines the freedom such institutions enjoy in the
decentralized and liberalized education system. It should therefore, be noted that the
document does not provide detailed descriptions of subject content or desired learning
outcomes. It leaves such level of information to the ECE syllabuses and in some cases,
the ECE Teacher-Educator Curriculum Manuals.
The objectives of the ECE curriculum framework are to:
a) interpret Government’s aims and objectives for the formal ECE system and help
ECE providers translate the aims into effective teaching and learning experiences;
b) define the basic values of the ECE system and help ECE providers to translate them
into teaching and learning experiences, taking into account the local and cultural
environment;
c) provide guidelines for ECE providers on the curriculum coverage in terms of
teacher-learner contact time, subjects and other ECE curriculum priorities; and
d) provide ECE guidelines for the allocation of public and private resources.
According to the 1996 National policy on education, the aim of ECE is to promote the
full and well-rounded development of the physical, intellectual, social, affective, moral
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and spiritual qualities of learners (aged 3 – 6) so that each can develop into a
complete person for his or her own fulfilment and for the good of society. It is in view
of this understanding that the Ministry has developed the ECE curriculum framework
so that the provision of ECE is well focused and directed.
According to the Education Act, 2011 the Zambian Education system of school
education shall be organised into the following progressive stages:
(a) early childhood care, development and education;
(b) basic (primary) education;
(c) high (secondary) school education; and
(d) tertiary education.
Subject to the provisions of this Act, a person has the right to
(a) early childhood care, development and education;
(b) basic (primary) education, including adult literacy education; and
(c) high (secondary) school education.
ECE CURRICULUM SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS
ECE and Teacher Education
Since independence in 1964, the Ministry has undertaken three major education policy
reforms in its quest to improve the quality of education provided to learners at
different levels.
The Education Act of 1966 was meant to overhaul the whole system in order to meet
the aspirations of an independent African country. The Act paved way to some
reforms in Primary and Secondary education which were aimed at standardizing and
diversifying the curriculum, besides relating the content to the needs of the learners.
At teacher education level, the Government introduced the ECE teacher education
certificate programme at Kitwe and David Livingstone Colleges of Education.
The Educational Reform of 1977 brought
On the other hand, the 1992 Focus on Learning policy stated that the best
environment for early learning is the home and its surroundings that are in sympathy
with the values of the child’s family and culture. Further, the policy stated that pre-
school education for children aged 3 – 7 can be a valuable adjunct to this home-based
education and can foster the social, physical, mental development of the child. The
policy was resolute on the fact that pre-school education continues to be a
responsibility of local authorities, communities and concerned parents. Each of whom
will make whatever arrangements seen suitable for the provision of education at this
level.
The national policy on education, Educating Our Future of 1996, gave increased
emphasis to defining ECE as an organized form of educational provision for children
from the ages of three to six. The policy states that such provision is made in the form
of pre-schools. In addition, the policy acknowledges that ECE plays an important role
in the multi-dimensional development of young children. Additionally, it provides
strategies for implementation of ECE by indicating that Ministry will collaborate with
providers, partner ministries, and others to develop policy guidelines for pre-schools.
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THE FOCUS OF THE NEW ECE TEACHER EDUCATION CURRICULUM
The following are the main focus of the new ECE curriculum:
i. Incorporate social, economic and technological developments in the ECE
curriculum;
ii. Link the ECE curriculum to the primary curriculum in order to create meaningful
curriculum linkages between the different levels of education;
iii. Review the language of instruction in the ECE centres and the approach and
methodologies of teaching pre-literacy and pre-numeracy;
iv. Standardise the ECE curriculum framework for both the private and public
colleges of education;
v. Spell out clear key competences to be achieved by student teachers at ECE
level;
vi. Review the ECE teaching content in all the subjects; and
vii. Incorporate major national concerns (Cross Cutting Issues) in the ECE
curriculum.
In realising the focus points stated, the aim of ECE and the aspirations of the Vision
2030, the Ministry desires to design and develop an ECE curriculum that produces an
ECE teacher who:
i. maintains and observes discipline and hard work as the basis of personal
and national development;
ii. is animated by a personally held set of civic, moral and spiritual values
within the national and international content;
iii. is analytical, innovative, creative, versatile, employable, entrepreneurial,
productive and constructive;
iv. appreciates the relationship between mathematical and scientific
thought, action and technology on the one hand and sustenance of the
quality of life on the other;
v. is free to express own ideas and exercises tolerance towards other
peoples’ views;
vi. cherishes and safeguards individual liberties and human rights;
vii. appreciates Zambia’s ethnic cultures, customs and traditions, upholding
national pride and unity;
viii. participates in the preservation of the ecosystem in one’s immediate and
distant environments and for future generations;
ix. applies entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, positive attitudes and values to
accomplish greater achievements in life;
x. is ICT competent;
xi. is scientifically, technologically and financially literate; and
xii. is able to provide competent leadership and teamwork.
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CHAPTER TWO
POLICIES AND PRINCIPLES
INTRODUCTION
The ECE Curriculum Framework is based on the many policy documents that are in
existence in the country. Some documents are law while others are policy guidelines.
There are also those that are in form of official directives and circulars.
GOVERNMENT LAWS
The Education Act - 1966
This was the first post-independence Government Law on education. It was meant to
overhaul the colonial education system in order to meet the aspirations of an
independent Zambia. The Act paved way for a number of curriculum reforms, for
example, the introduction of English as a language of instruction from Grade One to
Tertiary.
The Constitution of Zambia; Act No. 1 of 1991 and the Amendment Act No.
18 - 1996
The constitution of Zambia was reformed in 1991 in order to take into account plural
politics, which are guided by democratic principles. This meant that the education
system was also to be reformed in accordance with democratic dispensation. Thus,
there was an amendment of the Act in the constitution in 1996. The Act became the
cornerstone for educational restructuring and subsequent reviews in Zambia.
The Disability Act - 1996
The Act was put in place to provide for the needs of persons living with disabilities in
the light of discriminations against them in different environments, which included the
curriculum.
The Education Act - 2011
The Act stipulates guiding policies on how best ECE in Zambia could be provided in the
light of the democratic dispensation. It adheres to the education development
principles of Liberalisation, Decentralisation, Equality, Equity, Partnership and
Accountability. It is from this Act that the emphasis on the need to clearly include
knowledge, skills and values in the curriculum from ECCDE to Tertiary is based.
NATIONAL POLICIES ON EDUCATION
Educational Reform - 1977
This was the first comprehensive reform in the education system, which aimed at
making education an instrument for personal and national development. The main
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features of this reform were the introduction of primary and secondary School
education system and the focus on skills orientation in primary and secondary Schools.
Focus on Learning - 1992
The declining economy in the 1980s had a negative effect on the provision of social
services including education. All Government institutions of learning experienced
serious inadequate resources of all kinds, including materials to support the
curriculum. In 1990, Zambia attended the World Conference on Education for All, and
in 1991 a National Conference on Education for All was held in Zambia. The proposals
and working strategies aimed at improving education delivery were drafted at the
conference and compiled as Focus on Learning. The document was used to lobby
Government and Cooperating Partners to consider allocating enough resources to the
education sector in order to improve the quality and quantity of education in primary
Schools.
Educating Our Future - 1996
The Zambia ECE Curriculum Framework for colleges of education adheres to the
National Policy on Education, Educating Our Future (1996). It was also developed
according to the aims of ECE outlined in this policy document.
The Revised Sixth National Development Plan of 2011 - 2016
These are five year National Plans that cover the period 2011 to 2016. The Fifth
National Development Plan embrases Vision 2030. The Sixth National Development
Plan supplements the earlier plan by spelling out the key strategies in terms of
education delivery.The plans embrace formal, technical and vocational education with
the broad objective of developing, revising and improving the overall framework for
quality education.
VISION 2030
This is a long-term national development plan for the country. It provides a strategic
focus of where the nation is expected to be by 2030. The specific theme of the vision
is of Zambia becoming A Prosperous Middle-income Nation. The Vision spells out the
kind of a citizen the country desires. Hence, the Ministry has taken into consideration
the issues therein in defining the learner in the ECE curriculum.
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INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND AGREEMENTTS
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the declaration on 10th
December,
1948. It was established for all people of the world in order to promote and have
respect for human rights and freedoms which include access to education by all.
The United Nations Convention for the Right of the Child
In 1989 a convention on the rights of the child aged between 0 to 18 years was
adopted. The instrument stipulates the rights and freedoms of children including the
disabled. It is, therefore, imperative that through the curriculum these rights are
explicitly defined and taught to all learners.
The SADC Protocol on Education and Training of 1997
In order to standardise education certificates in the sub-region, SADC countries put in
place a framework, which would lead to the harmonisation of curricula in the
institutions of learning among member countries. The protocol demands that
qualifications attained at various levels of the education systems are similar or the
same. This is the Protocol on Education, which compels our curriculum to have direct
relationship with other curricula in the sub-region.
ECE GUIDING PRINCIPLES
ECE is an integral part of the social system and responds to the requirements of
educational needs. This therefore, means that for the ECE teacher education
curriculum to be progressive, relevant, dynamic and responsive, a number of
considerations must be met.
These are called ECE Guiding Principles or Assumptions. They include:
Dynamism of the Curriculum
From time to time, individual, community, national and global needs change,
knowledge expands and new technologies emerge. Considering that an effective ECE
curriculum should meet these changes, the MESVTEE will devise and formulate the
ECE teacher education curriculum.
Learning
Learning is a tool for society in the social, economic and political development.
Therefore, every individual should be given an opportunity to access it. One gains
knowledge, skills, values and positive attitudes that enable them to function in any
given environment. Therefore, the ECE teacher education curriculum has been
designed to meet the individual and societal needs through learning.
Reflective Education
Education involves the passing on of cultural heritage, values, traditions, language,
knowledge and skills from generation to generation. In the past, traditional education
was provided by adults and peers in an informal setting. With the introduction of
formal ECE, learning institutions share the responsibility with the home and local
communities of passing on to learners that part of the cultural heritage which is
meaningful and useful in today’s society.
The ECE teacher education curriculum should, therefore, respect and retain elements
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of the past and also be able to develop and assess competences needed for
tomorrow’s Zambia.
Life-Long Learning
The concept of Life-Long Learning entails that learning takes place not only in
classrooms but in all kinds of contexts, including personal experiences and being in
contact with other people. It starts before the child is born and continues throughout
their lifetime. It should respond to personal and societal needs. The ECE teacher
education curriculum, therefore, should take into account the fact that formal learning
is, among other things, meant to function as a starting point for continued Life-Long
Learning.
Equity and Equality
The ECE teacher education curriculum seeks to promote equality of access,
participation and benefit to all regardless of their individual needs and abilities. In view
of this, institutions of learning should put in place measures to promote Equity and
Equality in their ECE programmes.
These may include the following:
i. Allocating more resources to the ECE sector.
ii. Employing strategies to support children at risk, such as those with Special
Educational Needs (SEN) and the Orphans and Vulnerable Children
(OVCs).
iii. Eliminating sources of early childhood educational disadvantages in order
to enhance equity. Such educational impediments may be due to gender,
physical, sensory, mental, economic or social factors.
In addition, the ECE Policy should value and promote a multifaceted development of
the individuals, taking into account their uniqueness. The concept of equity in ECE
therefore, necessitates the diversification of ECE teacher education curriculum in order
to suit different abilities, talents and interests.
National Concerns (Cross-Cutting Issues)
National Concerns are an integral part of the ECE teacher education curriculum. In
addition to the subjects, there are a number of cross-cutting themes identified in
policy documents that should be considered when providing ECE. In the light of these
issues, ECE teacher-educators should be able to understand these issues better so
that they are integrated in the ECE teacher education curriculum.
Language of Instruction
The policy on education recognises the use of familiar Zambian languages as the
official languages of instruction in the Pre-Schools. This is because there is evidence
that children learn more easily and successfully through languages that they know and
understand well.
In view of this consideration, learners in Pre-Schools will be given an opportunity to
learn not only the initial basic skills of literacy and numeracy in a language of play but
also all knowledge, skills and values in the other learning areas. It should also be
noted that the use of a familiar language should be extended to learners with Special
Educational Needs.
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CHAPTER THREE
NATIONAL CONCERNS (CROSS-CUTTING THEMES)
INTRODUCTION
Cross-Cutting Issues are cardinal and therefore, need to be integrated in the ECE
teacher education curriculum. Those that cannot be integrated will be structured as
special modules that can be offered within the framework of an appropriate subject.
The following are some of the Cross-Cutting Issues to be included in the ECE teacher
education curriculum:
Special Educational Needs (SEN)
The learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN) include; the hearing, visually,
physically, intellectually impaired as well as the gifted. ECE teachers and teacher-
educators should be equipped with knowledge and skills to enable them identify,
screen and assess Learners with Special Educational Needs (LSEN).
Learning institutions should, therefore, ensure that LSEN are provided with
appropriate resources for quality learning. Teacher Education institutions should also
include special education in their programmes in order to equip ECE teachers with
necessary knowledge, skills, positive attitudes and values in this area.
The transcription of print materials into Braille will be an important ingredient for
effective communication and learning for the visually impaired learners, just like Sign
Language for the hearing impaired learners.
Careers Guidance and Counselling
Careers Guidance and Counselling are important to produce a well-balanced individual
who will fit in society and contribute positively for his or her own good and society at
large. The basic concepts in Careers Guidance and Counselling should be offered to all
ECE teacher trainees and teachers so that it enables them offer basic guidance and
counselling to their learners.
Environmental Education and Climate Change
Environmental Education focuses on certain sets of values, knowledge-perspectives
and attitudes which can contribute to environmental friendly action and solving of
environmental problems. Colleges of education should provide aspects of
Environmental Education in their programmes so as to impart knowledge, skills,
positive attitudes and values into the ECE teacher trainees and teachers. This should
enable ECE learners and teachers to uphold the values and importance of the
environment.
Life Skills
Life Skills equip individuals with skills to enable them deal effectively with the
demands and challenges of everyday life. Therefore, these should be included in the
ECE teacher education curriculum. Such skills include:
i. Livelihood(vocational, practical, productive or survival) skills;
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ii. Practical health related skills;
iii. Expressive skills (e.g. sports, music and art);
iv. Literacy skills;
v. Numeracy and Mathematical skills; and
vi. Psychosocial life skills (Skills related to behaviour and interaction with other
people and the environment).
Governance
Governance is about developing, implementing laws, and evaluating policies and rules
which guide and govern the actions of every society at all levels. Governance issues
are an integral part of every society and therefore, should be included in the ECE
teacher education curriculum.
Gender
Gender refers to the socially constructed masculine and feminine roles in society.
Learning institutions should address gender issues of equity and equality in the ECE
teacher education curriculum. This has been strengthened by adopting gender
sensitive teaching methodologies in the provision of ECE.
ICT
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equips ECE teachers with modern
skills of lesson delivery which enhances teaching and learning.
Human Rights
Zambia is a signatory to the United Nations (UN) conventions on Human Rights. In
view of this, learning institutions should integrate Human Rights across the curriculum
by way of involving learners in activities and practices that expose them to Human
Rights awareness.
20 | P a g e
Population and Family Life Education
In Zambia, Population and Family Life Education (PopFLE) as a concept and issue
addresses a wide range of dynamics of human populations and their relationships to
different environments, health needs and challenges. The focus is directed at children,
family and health education. The ECE teacher education curriculum should be tailored
in such a way that PopFLE is well integrated.
HIV and AIDS
Colleges of education should incorporate HIV and AIDS education into their
programmes to allow learners acquire knowledge, attitudes, values and skills that they
should use in their day to day lives.
Health and Nutrition
The health and nutrition of learners are of great importance in the teaching and
learning process. If not attended to, it will affect their performance, attendance and
retention. This can be achieved through the implementation of School Health and
Nutrition (SHN) interventions in a holistic and complementary manner. SHN
intervention includes water, sanitation and hygiene education. It is, therefore,
imperative that colleges of education should include in their curriculum issues on
health and nutrition education.
Entrepreneurship Education and Training
Entrepreneurship education and training is meant to inculcate abilities for ECE
learners’ knowledge, attitudes, values, skills and motivation to encourage
entrepreneurial success in a variety of settings. Such education is important because
teacher trainees will be able to transform innovative ideas into economic goods and
services. Variations of entrepreneurship education are offered at all levels.
Entrepreneurship education and training will be integrated into the ECE teacher
education curriculum.
CHAPTER FOUR
ECE CURRICULUM STRUCTURE
INTRODUCTION
This Chapter presents the structure of the ECE curriculum of the education system.
2
PRE-SCHOOL
RECEPTION
1 NURSERY
EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE, DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION
The Early Childhood Care, Development and Education refer to non-formal and formal
service provision, which prepares children for entry into Primary School Education. It
is considered a developmental support for children aged 0 to 6 years.
ECCDE focuses on the holistic development of the child in the following developmental
areas:
i.Physical development – Fine and Gross Motor Skills Development;
ii. Social, Emotional, Spiritual and Moral Development;
iii. Language Development (receptive and expressive language);
iv. Aesthetic Development or Appreciation of Beauty; and
v. Cognitive and Intellectual Development.
ECCDE Levels
ECCDE caters for two (2) broad levels and these are:
i. Day-Care
This level caters for children aged 0 to 2 years. Day-Care is a service provided to
parents who work or have other commitments, which makes it difficult for them to
look after their young children at home. The children are dropped at the Day-Care
Centre in the morning and picked later in the day when parents are through with their
work schedules. The centre stands in for the parents as it provides care, affection and
love to the young children.
ii. Early Education (Pre-School)
a. Nursery
A nursery is an institution that helps children aged 3 to 4 years to develop socially,
physically, mentally and emotionally by providing them with playmates and play
resources. The focus of nursery centres is promotion of social interaction of young
children from different social backgrounds through play.
a. Reception
Reception level is the last stage in the ECCDE classification hierarchy which caters for
the 5 and 6 years old learners. This is a preparatory stage for entry into Grade 1. The
teaching and learning at a pre-school is largely informal through guided and unguided
play with formal teaching (pre-academic) taking about 40 percent of the programme.
The academic learning prepares them for smooth transition to formal education at
Grade 1.
The Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education will only
offer Levels ii a. and ii b. in its programmes.
22 | P a g e
Key Competences for Learners at Early Education
At this level the child should demonstrate:
i. Social interaction skills
ii. Elementary pre-literacy skills
iii. Elementary pre-numeracy skills
iv. Fine and Gross Motor skills
Curriculum for Early Education
The curriculum for these levels will be dominated by play and pre-learning activities
based on the following learning areas:
i. Social Studies
ii. Environmental Science
iii. Numeracy
iv. Literacy and Language
v. Expressive Arts
Curriculum Changes at this level
The curriculum at this level has been standardised and linked to the Primary Education
level. Previously centres used different curricula and some learning activities did not
link Grade 1. To avoid this, there will be need to:
i. develop a national curriculum for ECE for use by all the providers in Zambia and;
ii. create learning areas linked to Primary School.
At this level, much time shall be devoted to Social Interaction which forms the main
purpose of Pre-school Education. The Social Interaction will consist of guided and
unguided activities of different types which are meant to develop various skills,
positive attitudes and values. The language of instruction at this level will be a familiar
Zambian Language.
Contact Time
Table 2: Time Allocation at Early Education
No. Learning Areas Time Allocation per Week
1 Social Studies 2 hours
2 Environmental Science 2½ hours
3 Literacy and Language 3½ hours
4 Numeracy 3 ½ hours
5 Expressive Arts 3½ hours
Total 15 hours
Child Development Assessment
Assessment at this level focuses on assessing the developmental milestones of
children aged 0 to 6 years. It can be done continuously through the various activities
that children are engaged in. The assessment results should not be used for judging
the child or comparing them with other children. Early identification of developmental
challenges (screening) is the key purpose for assessing children at this level. It should
facilitate the child’s development in all the domains with a view to finding solutions.
Assessment tools such as Child Development Assessment Tool for Zambia (CDAZ)
should be used when you want to find out how the child is growing from one age level
23 | P a g e
to another, or when you see that the child is not growing well. This can be used on a
day to day basis. The tool offers multiple opportunities for one to develop an
understanding of children’s developmental challenges and respond to their needs.
THE ECE TEACHER EDUCATION CURRICULUM STRUCTURE
Teacher Education
This section covers the curriculum for Teacher Education at ECE Level.
Pre-Service and In-Service
All colleges of education at each level will provide two forms of programmes under
Teacher Education. These will be Pre-Service and In-Service Teacher Education
programmes.
Pre-Service is the kind of Teacher Education intended for candidates who have no
initial formal teaching orientation or experience. The knowledge, skills, positive
attitudes and values that student teachers acquire during the course should enable
them implement the school curriculum effectively.
The duration of the course leading to a diploma in education shall be three years. The
rationale is to accommodate more content in the college curriculum so as to
adequately prepare the student teachers. On the other hand, the course leading to a
certificate in education shall be two years.
However, the duration for the degree programme will be as stipulated in the
respective institutions of learning but shall not be less than four years.
In-service Education is a very important aspect of providing Continuous
Professional Development (CPD) to serving teachers and teacher educators.
Teacher Education institutions will offer programmes of various durations depending
on identified needs. The Ministry will continue to exercise a co-ordinating function and
ensure that programmes fit within the framework of an overall comprehensive
scheme, and are not just haphazard.
The strategic approach under the In-Service Teacher Education will embody a number
of basic principles of provision, among them the following:
i. Programmes will be demand driven, responding to the identified societal needs.
ii. The majority of the In-Service programmes will focus on institutional needs and
will be institutional based or based in Resource Centres.
iii. Cascade models will be given special consideration, subject to avoiding too
much dilution at the lower levels.
iv. Cost effective programmes that reach large numbers of personnel will be given
high priority.
v. Programmes offered under In-Service mode shall be both short and long term
as designed by the institutions.
The duration of these short courses shall vary from one week to twelve weeks;
through workshops, seminars, conferences and face-to-face teaching and learning
modes to enhance the teaching profession.
The long-term courses are usually upgrading courses for teachers who are qualified
for subject-based teaching. The duration of these courses shall be about twelve to
twenty-four weeks.
These courses should be designed to help upgrade the professional and academic
qualifications of teachers and teacher educators to appropriate academic and
24 | P a g e
professional levels. Higher institutions of learning shall be instrumental in providing
long term courses to teachers who wish to upgrade their professional and academic
qualifications.
Distance Education
The institutions of learning providing Teacher Education, guided by the MESVTEE will
develop Distance Education programmes for Pre-Service and In-Service Teacher
Education. The Ministry shall ensure that all Pre and In-Service programmes delivered
through the Distance Education mode are handled by educators who are qualified in
Distance Education methodologies.
School Experience
School Experience is a very important component of teacher preparation. During this
period, student teachers experience the real school environment and demonstrate
progressive proficiency in a variety of learning areas, teaching and professional skills.
The success of the School Experience will depend on the collective input of the
colleges/ institutions of education, the practicing schools and the student teacher.
School Experience shall last not less than one full School Term.
Teacher Education Programmes
The programmes to be developed under this ECE teacher education Curriculum
Framework will be those aimed at preparing teachers for the Pre-School Sector of the
education system.
The programme will be designed in such a way that they will enable teachers to
qualify for a Certificate in ECE. However, the aspirations of the Ministry are to have all
teachers with a degree as a minimum qualification.
Early Childhood Education course will be one of the programmes to be offered by
different Teacher Education institutions. This programme will prepare teachers to
teach children that are aged 3 to 6 in the ECE centres. The programme will also
prepare teachers to qualify for a Diploma or Degree.
Key Competences for Teachers at ECE Level
Teachers’ professional life revolves around knowledge and learners. The knowledge is
always increasing and changing while the learners are uniquely different and live in
the changing social environment. Against this background, ECE Teacher Education
Programmes will focus at producing a teacher with high levels of competences in:
i. Material that is to be taught (subject matter);
ii. Skills in communicating that material to the learners (Teaching methodologies);
iii. Understanding educational foundations ;
iv. Creativity, constructiveness and innovation (Skill acquired); and
v. Providing competent leadership.
Some Changes in the Early Childhood Education Curriculum
The following are some significant changes in the ECE Teacher Education Curriculum:
i. Special Education: this component has been introduced in the ECE curriculum
for teacher training in order to provide student teachers knowledge and skills that
will enable them to:
a. Identify learners with special educational needs early enough and
provide necessary interventions
25 | P a g e
b. Use Sign Language and Braille so as to enable them to communicate
effectively with learners who have severe hearing and visual impairments
respectively.
ii. Study Areas in the ECE teacher education curriculum have been linked to school
curriculum so that the student teachers become familiar with school curriculum
while at college.
iii. Entrepreneurship Education shall be integrated in the ECE curriculum for
teacher education. This study area is intended to provide students with
knowledge and skills that will enable them realise the value of the skills they may
possess and also initiate in their learners such awareness through games and
play.
iv. Information and Communications Technology shall be offered by all the
Teacher Education institutions in order to equip student teachers with sufficient
skills in this new learning area.
v. Practical subjects have been allocated more time in order to equip student
teachers with sufficient skills.
CURRICULUM FOR ECE - TEACHER EDUCATION
Education Foundations
i. Child Psychology
ii. Theory and Practice of Education
iii. Production of Aids (Teaching/Learning Aids)
iv. Sociology of Education
v. Research Methods
vi. Health, Nutrition and First Aid
vii. Special Education
viii. Entrepreneurship Education
Teaching Courses
i. Language Development
ii. Music, games and Dances
iii. Art and Design
iv. Mathematics
v. Information and Communications Technology
vi. Integrated Science
vii. Social Studies
Contact Time in Teacher Education Institutions
Time allocation to the learning areas/subjects will be determined by institutions
themselves. More time should be allocated to practical subjects in line with what has
been done at school level.
Co-Curricular Activities
All teacher trainees will be expected to be involved in the following activities which are
part of the ECE teacher education curriculum:
i. Clubs and Associations
ii. Sports
iii. Preventive Maintenance
26 | P a g e
iv. Production Unit
27 | P a g e
CHAPTER FIVE
EFFECTIVE ECE CURRICULUM IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES
INTRODUCTION
Successful implementation of the ECE teacher education curriculum depends on many
factors if quality ECE is to be provided. These consist of inputs, processes and
outcomes of ECE.
The following are some of the key factors:
TEACHING METHODOLOGIES
The ECE teacher education curriculum development process should take a global view
of the new trends, strategies and practices, and embrace indigenous heritage and
thoughts that could fit in the local and national situations.
It is important that ECE teachers and teacher-educators use a variety of teaching
methods and techniques in order to cater for the range of learning needs taking into
account the available local resources. The ECE teachers and teacher-educators should
as much as possible, use methods that promote active learners’ participation and
interaction.
ASSESSMENTS
Assessment is an important tool in the ECE teaching and learning process and is
used to determine whether teaching and learning have taken place or not.
Performance assessments are not only used to measure what learners know and can
do but also to create an opportunity for the teacher to identify challenges learners
face in learning.
These may include:
i. standard-based activities such as matching and sorting that require learners to
apply their knowledge skills, positive attitudes and values; and
ii. Clearly defined performance targets at key stages of learning at nursery and
reception levels.
Therefore, ECE teachers and teacher-educators should create opportunities for
learners to benefit from the teachers’ guidance, that of peers and outside experts.
It must be noted that using assessments in ECE centres enhances learners’
achievement levels. It is based on the idea that learners will improve if they
understand the aim of the assessment.
It, therefore, follows that ECE teachers and teacher-educators should employ varying
types of assessments. This should not only be as a way of measuring the learners’
strengths and weaknesses, but it should also help learners to get used to the
assessment procedures and environment.
PLANNING AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
28 | P a g e
Planning
Planning is important in the work of an ECE teacher and teacher-educator. This works
as a guide for the effective delivery of lessons and other activities in and outside the
ECE centres.
Resource Management
Effective resource management is important in the achievement of the organisational
goals. Colleges of education should use and manage ECE teaching and learning
resources prudently. The colleges of education should expose teacher trainees to a
variety of ECE teaching and learning resources that they can use in the teaching-
learning process.
i. Human Resources
Colleges of education should ensure that they put in place the right numbers with
correct academic and professional qualifications for ECE staff. This will help in the
effective implementation of the ECE curricula.
ii. Time Allocation and Management
Time is a very important resource that should be managed properly. In this regard, all
concerned stakeholders should attend to their assignments as required. In the same
way, the time allocated to each subject must be utilized correctly. ECE Teachers and
teacher-educators should not spend time on activities that are not in the ECE
curriculum.
iii. Finance
The agencies or proprietors must source enough finances to run their learning
institutions effectively. Financial resources should be spent largely on the acquisition
of ECE teaching and learning materials. The learning institutions should prudently
spend the financial resources according to the laid down procedures and regulations.
PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
ECE Learning institutions should have appropriate infrastructure such as classrooms,
play grounds/parks, Wendy-house, sand pit, lecture rooms/lecture theatres, tutorial
rooms and specialised rooms, sleeping room, kitchen, ablution block, demonstration
rooms, workshops and resource rooms. This infrastructure should be well stocked with
adequate ECE equipment and materials needed for effective teaching and learning.
They should also have user-friendly facilities for learners, and learners with Special
Educational Needs. The Library is a very important resource-room in a learning
institution. Therefore, it must have adequate and appropriate reading and other
learning materials for both learners and staff.
Other facilities should include adequate playing grounds for the teacher trainees.
These are indoor and outdoor designated spaces for football, netball, volleyball and
other play and sporting activities. Sporting and play activities are necessary for
learners’ physical health and fitness. There should be space for production work where
teacher trainees will be involved in the acquisition of practical skills.
CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Co-curricular activities are organised activities, which are part of the formalised
teaching schedule. They are a major channel for the development of life skills and
formation of positive attitudes and behaviour patterns. With the foregoing, colleges of
education should include in their programmes co- curricular activities for all learners.
29 | P a g e
Teacher trainees should participate in activities like sports, clubs, societies, gardening,
cultural presentations, and meetings of cultural and religious groups. They can also
extend the services to the college’s immediate neighbourhood. The colleges of
education should develop rich and varied programmes of such activities, which
promote a balanced and healthy development of teacher trainees.
CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Teachers and teacher-educators are key players in any education system and should
regularly attend Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes. This helps
in updating pedagogical approaches, pastoral care for learners, assessment
procedures, school organization and management, and relationship with
parents/guardians and the community. Colleges of education should develop in ECE
teachers and teacher-educators the spirit of CPD in order for them to effectively
implement the curriculum.
Colleges of education should have well-organised CPD programmes for members of
staff. Such programmes should be predominantly institutional based. There should be
regular paper presentations and professional discussions in identified ECE areas.
RESEARCH
Research is an important intervention at ECE level. There is need to find out what
obtains and what needs to be adjusted or changed completely to suit the obtaining
situations. Therefore, in curriculum design and development, it is cardinal to carry out
both Action Research and Case Studies to help improve learning and cater for ECE
content and the learners. Educational surveys should form part of research work to
alleviate all challenges in the ECE sector.
Colleges of education should establish a more systematic approach to the use of
empirical data in decisions that support improvements in the performance of ECE
learners.
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
Monitoring and Evaluation improve teaching practices. Therefore, colleges of
education should monitor, evaluate and analyse the effectiveness of their programmes
and the teaching and learning strategies.
In undertaking monitoring and evaluation activities, the following should be paid
attention to:
 Are the aims and objectives reasonable and appropriate?
 Are they being achieved? If not, why?
 Are resources (staff, money, time, facilities) used to their optimum?
There should be follow-ups and continuous monitoring and evaluation.
30 | P a g e
REFERENCES
1. Curriculum Development Centre, (2000) Views of Stakeholders Outside
the Education Sector the Basic Education Curriculum, Ministry of Education.
Lusaka: Zambia.
2. Curriculum Development Centre (1999) International and National
Conventions and Declarations of Relevance to the Formulation of the Zambian
School Curriculum. Ministry of Education, Lusaka: Zambia.
3. Curriculum Development Centre (2000) A Study on Basic School
Curriculum Development in an International Perspective. Ministry of
Education, Lusaka: Zambia.
4. Curriculum Development Centre (1999) The Historical Background to
Curriculum Development in Zambia, 1964 – 1999. Ministry of Education,
Lusaka: Zambia.
5. Curriculum Development Centre (1999) Primary and Basic School
Teachers’ Views on the Basic School Curriculum. Ministry of Education,
Lusaka: Zambia.
6. Ministry of Education (2011)The Education Act, 2011, No. 23 of 2011 419,
Government Printer, Lusaka: Zambia.
7. Ministry of Education, (1992) Focus on Learning. Government Printers,
Lusaka: Zambia.
8. Ministry of Education, (1996) Educating Our Future: Policy on Education.
Government Printers, Lusaka: Zambia.
9. Ministry of Education, (1977)Educational Reforms. Government Printers,
Lusaka: Zambia.
10. Ministry of Education, (2004) High School Policy Issues and Current
Practices in Zambia. Lusaka: Zambia.
11. Ministry of Education, (1967) Report on Educational Development in 1966–
1967 Presented at the xxxth Session of the International Conference on
Public Education. Ministry of Education, Lusaka: Zambia.
12. Ministry of Education, (2007) Review of the Ministry of Education Sector
Plan: Independent Review 2006; Final Report – May 2007. Ministry of
Education, Lusaka: Zambia.
13. Ministry of Finance and National Development, (2011) Sixth National
Development Plan, Republic of Zambia.
14. Vision 2030A Prosperous Middle-Income Nation by 2030.
15. Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training,
(1996)Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Policy.
Lusaka, Zambia.
16. Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training,
(1997)Strategy Paper on Technical Education, Vocational and
Entrepreneurship Training. Lusaka, Zambia.
17. Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training,
(2011)Zambia Qualifications Authority Act No.13 of 2011. Lusaka, Zambia.
18. Republic of Zambia, (2005)The Technical Education, Vocational and
Entrepreneurship Training Act No. 13 of 1998 and TEVET (Amendment Act
No. 11 of 2005). Lusaka, Zambia.

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Ece curriculum framework edited version zero draft

  • 1. REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, SCIENCE, VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND EARLY EDUCATION The Zambia Early Childhood Education Curriculum Framework for Colleges of Education 2013
  • 2. i | P a g e The Zambia Early Childhood Education Curriculum Framework for Colleges of Education Published by Teacher Education and Specialised Services Teacher Education Section Pre-Service Unit P.O. Box 50093 LUSAKA Copyright © 2013 by the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. Published by: Teacher Education and Specialised Services Teacher Education Section Pre-Service Unit
  • 3. ii | P a g e P.O. Box 50093 LUSAKA
  • 4. iii | P a g e TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS............................................................................................................iii PREFACE ..................................................................................................................................iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS...........................................................................................................v ACRONYMS..............................................................................................................................vi DEFINITION OF TERMS.........................................................................................................vi THE ECE CURRICULUM FORMULATION CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK ......................... viii 1. Principles in the Curriculum formulation Process........................................................................ viii 2. Issues in the Curriculum Formulation Process............................................................................ viii 2.1. Vision ........................................................................................................................................viii 2.2 Values .........................................................................................................................................ix 2.3 Key Competences .....................................................................................................................ix 2.4 Subjects.......................................................................................................................................x 3. CONCLUSION ......................................................................................................................................x CHAPTER ONE........................................................................................................................11 THE ECE TEACHER EDUCATION CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK...........................................................11 ECE CURRICULUM SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS........................................................................................12 THE FOCUS OF THE NEW ECE TEACHER EDUCATION CURRICULUM..............................................13 CHAPTER TWO.......................................................................................................................14 POLICIES AND PRINCIPLES.....................................................................................................................14 INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND AGREEMENTTS......................................................................16 ECE GUIDING PRINCIPLES......................................................................................................................16 CHAPTER THREE ...................................................................................................................18 NATIONAL CONCERNS (CROSS-CUTTING THEMES) .....................................................................................18 CHAPTER FOUR .....................................................................................................................21 ECE CURRICULUM STRUCTURE..............................................................................................................21 EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE, DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION ..........................................................21 THE ECE TEACHER EDUCATION CURRICULUM STRUCTURE.............................................................23 CURRICULUM FOR ECE - TEACHER EDUCATION.................................................................................25 CHAPTER FIVE .......................................................................................................................27 EFFECTIVE ECE CURRICULUM IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES......................................................27 REFERENCES ..........................................................................................................................30
  • 5. iv | P a g e PREFACE In 1996, the Ministry of Education developed the National Policy on Education, ‘Educating Our Future’, in order to respond to the developmental needs of the nation as well as those of the individual learners. This policy has seen increased emphasis on Early Childhood Education (ECE) by dedicating chapter two to policies and strategies for ECE provision. It is against this background that the Zambia Early Childhood Education Curriculum Framework for Colleges of Education has been developed to provide policy guidelines for the development of the ECE curriculum for training teachers at ECE level. This framework, therefore, provides curriculum guidelines as well as the scope and structure for ECE teacher education programmes. In addition, the framework becomes the basis for the development and procurement of teaching and learning materials. The framework has been developed through a consultative process in liaison with the Ministry’s Directorates, public and private Universities and Colleges of Education. I wish to convey the Ministry’s sincere gratitude to each and every person and institutions that contributed to the development of this ECE Curriculum Framework for Colleges of Education. Chishimba Nkosha Permanent Secretary – Education Division MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, SCIENCE, VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND EARLY EDUCATION
  • 6. v | P a g e ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Curriculum development is a consultative and participatory process. Therefore, the development of the Zambia Early Childhood Education Curriculum Framework for Colleges of Education could not have been achieved without the cooperation of various stakeholders within and outside the education system. Special thanks go to the Directorate of Standards and Curriculum for producing the initial curriculum framework document. Thanks also go to the public and private Universities and Colleges of Education, Zambia Pre-School Association (ZPA), Early Childhood Teachers and Trainers Association of Zambia (ETTAZ) and the Flemish Association for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance (VVOB) for their tireless contributions during the consultative process. I also recognise the effort of the … who were part of the team that spearheaded the process of formulating the ECE Curriculum Framework for colleges of education. May I also recognise UNICEF, Zambia for supporting the Ministry in the entire process of producing the ECE Curriculum Framework for colleges of education. Dr. Vincent Chiyongo Director – Teacher Education and Specialised Services (TESS) MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, SCIENCE, VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND EARLY EDUCATION
  • 7. vi | P a g e ACRONYMS AIDS CDAZ CDC CPD DODE ECCDE ECE ECZ TESS S & C GCE HIV ICT MDGs MESVTEE NGOs ODL PE SADC SS SEN SHN SNDP UN UNZA VVOB Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Child Development Assessment for Zambia Curriculum Development Centre Continuous Professional Development Directorate of Open and Distance Education Early Childhood Care, Development and Education Early Childhood Education Examinations Council of Zambia Teacher Education and Specialised Services Standards and Curriculum General Certificate of Education Human Immunodeficiency Virus Information and Communications Technology Millennium Development Goals Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education Non-Governmental Organizations Open and Distance Learning Physical Education Southern Africa Development Community Social Studies Special Educational Needs School Health and Nutrition Sixth National Development Plan United Nations University of Zambia Flemish Association for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance DEFINITION OF TERMS Co-Curricular Play and educational activities that complement academic learning. They also include the general character and organization of an institution of learning. Cross-Cutting Issues Issues that touch on general principles such as democracy, good governance, gender equality, sustainable environment, life skills and HIV and AIDS. Curriculum A prescribed programme of study for learners in institutions of learning. Distance Education Learning that is done through open and distance programmes. Early Childhood Education Education provided to young children of 3-6 years which prepares them for formal schooling. Entrepreneurship Education This is the type of education which instils entrepreneurial skills to learners. Familiar Zambian Language A local language that is commonly used by children in a particular locality. It could be a zone or a community language. Learning Area A study discipline consisting of learning experiences drawn from different subjects.
  • 8. vii | P a g e Lower Primary Education Refers to the education offered to Grades 1–4 learners. Middle Primary Education Refers to the education offered to Grades 5–7 learners. School Experience This is a programme through which teacher trainees undertake school based teaching. Social Interaction This is the interaction that takes place among children involving guided and unguided play activities in an organized environment in order to overcome their social barriers. Special Educational Needs Refers to the education services and strategies provided to learners with different abilities and challenges.
  • 9. viii | P a g e THE ECE CURRICULUM FORMULATION CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK In order to have a clear and focussed direction of the curriculum formulation, a conceptual framework had to be developed. This conceptual framework served as a guide to all the participants involved in the ECE National Teacher Education curriculum formulation process. The concept outlined the principles and key issues in the formulation process. There are many pressures for the ECE teacher education curriculum formulation, including responding to internal and external requirements driven by the Government or professional bodies, the need to create and maintain the learning “market”, delineating content, delivering that content, and developing learners. 1. Principles in the Curriculum formulation Process Although there are different approaches to curriculum formulation, it is possible to isolate a number of the basic principles. These are that the: (a) Curriculum Formulation needs to result in curricula which are:  holistic and coherent;  comprehensive, diversified, inclusive, and accessible;  learner-centred and interactive;  encouraging independence in learning; and  interlinked from ECE to primary levels of education. (b) Curriculum Formulation needs to take into account the:  nature and characteristics of the learners;  type and quality of intakes into the Teacher Education system;  organisation and management of the learning environment;  teaching and learning resources;  academic and support staff (assistant teachers); and  learning environment and opportunities. 2. Issues in the Curriculum Formulation Process 2.1. Vision To produce holistic ECE teachers who are:  of sound academic background;  good at understanding how children learn;  able to use appropriate methods/active learning/teaching methods;  able to design teaching/learning materials;  able to motivate children to learn;  knowledgeable in counselling;  able to show good Research skills;  trained in ECE;  able to show a good sense of humour;  able to possess ICT skills;  creative, innovative and productive;  connected to family, community, national and global developments;  capable of learning and living with others;
  • 10. ix | P a g e  life-long learners; and  leaders and agents of change in the transformation of the society. 2.2 Values  Excellence  Innovation, creativity, inquiry and curiosity  Diversity  Equity and empathy  Citizenry, community and participation  Honesty and integrity  Respect and honour  Love  Professionalism  Discipline  Tolerance  Patriotism  Hardworking and active  Good interpersonal skills  Must understand environmental issues/cleanliness and care for environment  be a role model  be an agent of change  be able to interpret government policy & legislative laws  Confident and assertive  Cultural awareness  Possess entrepreneurship and vocational skills  Hospitality skills and inspirational  Sound moral standing  Effective communicator  Sensitive to the needs of learners  Maturity  Open mindedness  Leadership skills  Must be a critical thinker  Must be strong in content and pedagogical skills 2.3 Key Competences  Critical, analytic, strategic, and creative thinking  Problem-solving  Effective use of language, symbols and text  Self-management  Relationships with others  Participation and teamwork  Innovation  Entrepreneurship and productivity  Life Skills  Civic competences  ICT skills  Research skills  Mastery of subject matter and pedagogy
  • 11. x | P a g e 2.4 Subjects  Environmental Science  Design and Technology  Entrepreneurship  Mathematics  Performing and Creative Arts  Languages  Social Sciences  Business studies  Religious Knowledge  Health Education  Physical Education  Community Studies  Environmental Education  Information and Communication Technology 3. CONCLUSION The ECE Conceptual Framework was drawn on common practices in the Curriculum Formulation and Development. The various influences are illustrated below: Curriculum Framework Vision Key CompetencesValues Subjects
  • 12. 11 | P a g e CHAPTER ONE THE ECE TEACHER EDUCATION CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK INTRODUCTION The Zambia ECE Curriculum Framework is a guide and set of binding regulations for all Colleges of Education both public and private that are involved in the provision of ECE teacher education programmes. It shall function as a tool to teacher- educators/instructors in the implementation of the national policy on ECE. The provision of ECE in Zambia is guided by the democratic principles of liberalisation, decentralisation, equality, equity, partnership and accountability. The principles of liberalisation and decentralisation entail that many individuals and organisations are involved in the provision and management of ECE, therefore, the need to develop a standard ECE curriculum regulatory framework to be followed by all. According to the Education Act of 2011, the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (MESVTEE) is the custodian of quality education provision and will ensure that all providers adhere to the policy and regulations on ECE curriculum. Therefore, all colleges of education should have the ECE curriculum framework and other important ECE curriculum-related documents and the syllabuses. These documents shall function as daily guides and tools to ensure the provision of quality ECE. In order to keep the curriculum up to date, ECE curriculum framework will be reviewed comprehensively every after ten (10) years in response to change-drivers that will include Political, Economical, Social, Technological, Ecological and Legal Factors. However, curriculum support materials such as ECE syllabuses and books should be reviewed after every five (5) years in order to keep the teaching and learning content up to date. While the ECE curriculum framework contains a number of binding regulations for colleges of education; it defines the freedom such institutions enjoy in the decentralized and liberalized education system. It should therefore, be noted that the document does not provide detailed descriptions of subject content or desired learning outcomes. It leaves such level of information to the ECE syllabuses and in some cases, the ECE Teacher-Educator Curriculum Manuals. The objectives of the ECE curriculum framework are to: a) interpret Government’s aims and objectives for the formal ECE system and help ECE providers translate the aims into effective teaching and learning experiences; b) define the basic values of the ECE system and help ECE providers to translate them into teaching and learning experiences, taking into account the local and cultural environment; c) provide guidelines for ECE providers on the curriculum coverage in terms of teacher-learner contact time, subjects and other ECE curriculum priorities; and d) provide ECE guidelines for the allocation of public and private resources. According to the 1996 National policy on education, the aim of ECE is to promote the full and well-rounded development of the physical, intellectual, social, affective, moral
  • 13. 12 | P a g e and spiritual qualities of learners (aged 3 – 6) so that each can develop into a complete person for his or her own fulfilment and for the good of society. It is in view of this understanding that the Ministry has developed the ECE curriculum framework so that the provision of ECE is well focused and directed. According to the Education Act, 2011 the Zambian Education system of school education shall be organised into the following progressive stages: (a) early childhood care, development and education; (b) basic (primary) education; (c) high (secondary) school education; and (d) tertiary education. Subject to the provisions of this Act, a person has the right to (a) early childhood care, development and education; (b) basic (primary) education, including adult literacy education; and (c) high (secondary) school education. ECE CURRICULUM SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS ECE and Teacher Education Since independence in 1964, the Ministry has undertaken three major education policy reforms in its quest to improve the quality of education provided to learners at different levels. The Education Act of 1966 was meant to overhaul the whole system in order to meet the aspirations of an independent African country. The Act paved way to some reforms in Primary and Secondary education which were aimed at standardizing and diversifying the curriculum, besides relating the content to the needs of the learners. At teacher education level, the Government introduced the ECE teacher education certificate programme at Kitwe and David Livingstone Colleges of Education. The Educational Reform of 1977 brought On the other hand, the 1992 Focus on Learning policy stated that the best environment for early learning is the home and its surroundings that are in sympathy with the values of the child’s family and culture. Further, the policy stated that pre- school education for children aged 3 – 7 can be a valuable adjunct to this home-based education and can foster the social, physical, mental development of the child. The policy was resolute on the fact that pre-school education continues to be a responsibility of local authorities, communities and concerned parents. Each of whom will make whatever arrangements seen suitable for the provision of education at this level. The national policy on education, Educating Our Future of 1996, gave increased emphasis to defining ECE as an organized form of educational provision for children from the ages of three to six. The policy states that such provision is made in the form of pre-schools. In addition, the policy acknowledges that ECE plays an important role in the multi-dimensional development of young children. Additionally, it provides strategies for implementation of ECE by indicating that Ministry will collaborate with providers, partner ministries, and others to develop policy guidelines for pre-schools.
  • 14. 13 | P a g e THE FOCUS OF THE NEW ECE TEACHER EDUCATION CURRICULUM The following are the main focus of the new ECE curriculum: i. Incorporate social, economic and technological developments in the ECE curriculum; ii. Link the ECE curriculum to the primary curriculum in order to create meaningful curriculum linkages between the different levels of education; iii. Review the language of instruction in the ECE centres and the approach and methodologies of teaching pre-literacy and pre-numeracy; iv. Standardise the ECE curriculum framework for both the private and public colleges of education; v. Spell out clear key competences to be achieved by student teachers at ECE level; vi. Review the ECE teaching content in all the subjects; and vii. Incorporate major national concerns (Cross Cutting Issues) in the ECE curriculum. In realising the focus points stated, the aim of ECE and the aspirations of the Vision 2030, the Ministry desires to design and develop an ECE curriculum that produces an ECE teacher who: i. maintains and observes discipline and hard work as the basis of personal and national development; ii. is animated by a personally held set of civic, moral and spiritual values within the national and international content; iii. is analytical, innovative, creative, versatile, employable, entrepreneurial, productive and constructive; iv. appreciates the relationship between mathematical and scientific thought, action and technology on the one hand and sustenance of the quality of life on the other; v. is free to express own ideas and exercises tolerance towards other peoples’ views; vi. cherishes and safeguards individual liberties and human rights; vii. appreciates Zambia’s ethnic cultures, customs and traditions, upholding national pride and unity; viii. participates in the preservation of the ecosystem in one’s immediate and distant environments and for future generations; ix. applies entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, positive attitudes and values to accomplish greater achievements in life; x. is ICT competent; xi. is scientifically, technologically and financially literate; and xii. is able to provide competent leadership and teamwork.
  • 15. 14 | P a g e CHAPTER TWO POLICIES AND PRINCIPLES INTRODUCTION The ECE Curriculum Framework is based on the many policy documents that are in existence in the country. Some documents are law while others are policy guidelines. There are also those that are in form of official directives and circulars. GOVERNMENT LAWS The Education Act - 1966 This was the first post-independence Government Law on education. It was meant to overhaul the colonial education system in order to meet the aspirations of an independent Zambia. The Act paved way for a number of curriculum reforms, for example, the introduction of English as a language of instruction from Grade One to Tertiary. The Constitution of Zambia; Act No. 1 of 1991 and the Amendment Act No. 18 - 1996 The constitution of Zambia was reformed in 1991 in order to take into account plural politics, which are guided by democratic principles. This meant that the education system was also to be reformed in accordance with democratic dispensation. Thus, there was an amendment of the Act in the constitution in 1996. The Act became the cornerstone for educational restructuring and subsequent reviews in Zambia. The Disability Act - 1996 The Act was put in place to provide for the needs of persons living with disabilities in the light of discriminations against them in different environments, which included the curriculum. The Education Act - 2011 The Act stipulates guiding policies on how best ECE in Zambia could be provided in the light of the democratic dispensation. It adheres to the education development principles of Liberalisation, Decentralisation, Equality, Equity, Partnership and Accountability. It is from this Act that the emphasis on the need to clearly include knowledge, skills and values in the curriculum from ECCDE to Tertiary is based. NATIONAL POLICIES ON EDUCATION Educational Reform - 1977 This was the first comprehensive reform in the education system, which aimed at making education an instrument for personal and national development. The main
  • 16. 15 | P a g e features of this reform were the introduction of primary and secondary School education system and the focus on skills orientation in primary and secondary Schools. Focus on Learning - 1992 The declining economy in the 1980s had a negative effect on the provision of social services including education. All Government institutions of learning experienced serious inadequate resources of all kinds, including materials to support the curriculum. In 1990, Zambia attended the World Conference on Education for All, and in 1991 a National Conference on Education for All was held in Zambia. The proposals and working strategies aimed at improving education delivery were drafted at the conference and compiled as Focus on Learning. The document was used to lobby Government and Cooperating Partners to consider allocating enough resources to the education sector in order to improve the quality and quantity of education in primary Schools. Educating Our Future - 1996 The Zambia ECE Curriculum Framework for colleges of education adheres to the National Policy on Education, Educating Our Future (1996). It was also developed according to the aims of ECE outlined in this policy document. The Revised Sixth National Development Plan of 2011 - 2016 These are five year National Plans that cover the period 2011 to 2016. The Fifth National Development Plan embrases Vision 2030. The Sixth National Development Plan supplements the earlier plan by spelling out the key strategies in terms of education delivery.The plans embrace formal, technical and vocational education with the broad objective of developing, revising and improving the overall framework for quality education. VISION 2030 This is a long-term national development plan for the country. It provides a strategic focus of where the nation is expected to be by 2030. The specific theme of the vision is of Zambia becoming A Prosperous Middle-income Nation. The Vision spells out the kind of a citizen the country desires. Hence, the Ministry has taken into consideration the issues therein in defining the learner in the ECE curriculum.
  • 17. 16 | P a g e INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND AGREEMENTTS The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 The United Nations General Assembly adopted the declaration on 10th December, 1948. It was established for all people of the world in order to promote and have respect for human rights and freedoms which include access to education by all. The United Nations Convention for the Right of the Child In 1989 a convention on the rights of the child aged between 0 to 18 years was adopted. The instrument stipulates the rights and freedoms of children including the disabled. It is, therefore, imperative that through the curriculum these rights are explicitly defined and taught to all learners. The SADC Protocol on Education and Training of 1997 In order to standardise education certificates in the sub-region, SADC countries put in place a framework, which would lead to the harmonisation of curricula in the institutions of learning among member countries. The protocol demands that qualifications attained at various levels of the education systems are similar or the same. This is the Protocol on Education, which compels our curriculum to have direct relationship with other curricula in the sub-region. ECE GUIDING PRINCIPLES ECE is an integral part of the social system and responds to the requirements of educational needs. This therefore, means that for the ECE teacher education curriculum to be progressive, relevant, dynamic and responsive, a number of considerations must be met. These are called ECE Guiding Principles or Assumptions. They include: Dynamism of the Curriculum From time to time, individual, community, national and global needs change, knowledge expands and new technologies emerge. Considering that an effective ECE curriculum should meet these changes, the MESVTEE will devise and formulate the ECE teacher education curriculum. Learning Learning is a tool for society in the social, economic and political development. Therefore, every individual should be given an opportunity to access it. One gains knowledge, skills, values and positive attitudes that enable them to function in any given environment. Therefore, the ECE teacher education curriculum has been designed to meet the individual and societal needs through learning. Reflective Education Education involves the passing on of cultural heritage, values, traditions, language, knowledge and skills from generation to generation. In the past, traditional education was provided by adults and peers in an informal setting. With the introduction of formal ECE, learning institutions share the responsibility with the home and local communities of passing on to learners that part of the cultural heritage which is meaningful and useful in today’s society. The ECE teacher education curriculum should, therefore, respect and retain elements
  • 18. 17 | P a g e of the past and also be able to develop and assess competences needed for tomorrow’s Zambia. Life-Long Learning The concept of Life-Long Learning entails that learning takes place not only in classrooms but in all kinds of contexts, including personal experiences and being in contact with other people. It starts before the child is born and continues throughout their lifetime. It should respond to personal and societal needs. The ECE teacher education curriculum, therefore, should take into account the fact that formal learning is, among other things, meant to function as a starting point for continued Life-Long Learning. Equity and Equality The ECE teacher education curriculum seeks to promote equality of access, participation and benefit to all regardless of their individual needs and abilities. In view of this, institutions of learning should put in place measures to promote Equity and Equality in their ECE programmes. These may include the following: i. Allocating more resources to the ECE sector. ii. Employing strategies to support children at risk, such as those with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs). iii. Eliminating sources of early childhood educational disadvantages in order to enhance equity. Such educational impediments may be due to gender, physical, sensory, mental, economic or social factors. In addition, the ECE Policy should value and promote a multifaceted development of the individuals, taking into account their uniqueness. The concept of equity in ECE therefore, necessitates the diversification of ECE teacher education curriculum in order to suit different abilities, talents and interests. National Concerns (Cross-Cutting Issues) National Concerns are an integral part of the ECE teacher education curriculum. In addition to the subjects, there are a number of cross-cutting themes identified in policy documents that should be considered when providing ECE. In the light of these issues, ECE teacher-educators should be able to understand these issues better so that they are integrated in the ECE teacher education curriculum. Language of Instruction The policy on education recognises the use of familiar Zambian languages as the official languages of instruction in the Pre-Schools. This is because there is evidence that children learn more easily and successfully through languages that they know and understand well. In view of this consideration, learners in Pre-Schools will be given an opportunity to learn not only the initial basic skills of literacy and numeracy in a language of play but also all knowledge, skills and values in the other learning areas. It should also be noted that the use of a familiar language should be extended to learners with Special Educational Needs.
  • 19. 18 | P a g e CHAPTER THREE NATIONAL CONCERNS (CROSS-CUTTING THEMES) INTRODUCTION Cross-Cutting Issues are cardinal and therefore, need to be integrated in the ECE teacher education curriculum. Those that cannot be integrated will be structured as special modules that can be offered within the framework of an appropriate subject. The following are some of the Cross-Cutting Issues to be included in the ECE teacher education curriculum: Special Educational Needs (SEN) The learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN) include; the hearing, visually, physically, intellectually impaired as well as the gifted. ECE teachers and teacher- educators should be equipped with knowledge and skills to enable them identify, screen and assess Learners with Special Educational Needs (LSEN). Learning institutions should, therefore, ensure that LSEN are provided with appropriate resources for quality learning. Teacher Education institutions should also include special education in their programmes in order to equip ECE teachers with necessary knowledge, skills, positive attitudes and values in this area. The transcription of print materials into Braille will be an important ingredient for effective communication and learning for the visually impaired learners, just like Sign Language for the hearing impaired learners. Careers Guidance and Counselling Careers Guidance and Counselling are important to produce a well-balanced individual who will fit in society and contribute positively for his or her own good and society at large. The basic concepts in Careers Guidance and Counselling should be offered to all ECE teacher trainees and teachers so that it enables them offer basic guidance and counselling to their learners. Environmental Education and Climate Change Environmental Education focuses on certain sets of values, knowledge-perspectives and attitudes which can contribute to environmental friendly action and solving of environmental problems. Colleges of education should provide aspects of Environmental Education in their programmes so as to impart knowledge, skills, positive attitudes and values into the ECE teacher trainees and teachers. This should enable ECE learners and teachers to uphold the values and importance of the environment. Life Skills Life Skills equip individuals with skills to enable them deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. Therefore, these should be included in the ECE teacher education curriculum. Such skills include: i. Livelihood(vocational, practical, productive or survival) skills;
  • 20. 19 | P a g e ii. Practical health related skills; iii. Expressive skills (e.g. sports, music and art); iv. Literacy skills; v. Numeracy and Mathematical skills; and vi. Psychosocial life skills (Skills related to behaviour and interaction with other people and the environment). Governance Governance is about developing, implementing laws, and evaluating policies and rules which guide and govern the actions of every society at all levels. Governance issues are an integral part of every society and therefore, should be included in the ECE teacher education curriculum. Gender Gender refers to the socially constructed masculine and feminine roles in society. Learning institutions should address gender issues of equity and equality in the ECE teacher education curriculum. This has been strengthened by adopting gender sensitive teaching methodologies in the provision of ECE. ICT Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equips ECE teachers with modern skills of lesson delivery which enhances teaching and learning. Human Rights Zambia is a signatory to the United Nations (UN) conventions on Human Rights. In view of this, learning institutions should integrate Human Rights across the curriculum by way of involving learners in activities and practices that expose them to Human Rights awareness.
  • 21. 20 | P a g e Population and Family Life Education In Zambia, Population and Family Life Education (PopFLE) as a concept and issue addresses a wide range of dynamics of human populations and their relationships to different environments, health needs and challenges. The focus is directed at children, family and health education. The ECE teacher education curriculum should be tailored in such a way that PopFLE is well integrated. HIV and AIDS Colleges of education should incorporate HIV and AIDS education into their programmes to allow learners acquire knowledge, attitudes, values and skills that they should use in their day to day lives. Health and Nutrition The health and nutrition of learners are of great importance in the teaching and learning process. If not attended to, it will affect their performance, attendance and retention. This can be achieved through the implementation of School Health and Nutrition (SHN) interventions in a holistic and complementary manner. SHN intervention includes water, sanitation and hygiene education. It is, therefore, imperative that colleges of education should include in their curriculum issues on health and nutrition education. Entrepreneurship Education and Training Entrepreneurship education and training is meant to inculcate abilities for ECE learners’ knowledge, attitudes, values, skills and motivation to encourage entrepreneurial success in a variety of settings. Such education is important because teacher trainees will be able to transform innovative ideas into economic goods and services. Variations of entrepreneurship education are offered at all levels. Entrepreneurship education and training will be integrated into the ECE teacher education curriculum.
  • 22. CHAPTER FOUR ECE CURRICULUM STRUCTURE INTRODUCTION This Chapter presents the structure of the ECE curriculum of the education system. 2 PRE-SCHOOL RECEPTION 1 NURSERY EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE, DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION The Early Childhood Care, Development and Education refer to non-formal and formal service provision, which prepares children for entry into Primary School Education. It is considered a developmental support for children aged 0 to 6 years. ECCDE focuses on the holistic development of the child in the following developmental areas: i.Physical development – Fine and Gross Motor Skills Development; ii. Social, Emotional, Spiritual and Moral Development; iii. Language Development (receptive and expressive language); iv. Aesthetic Development or Appreciation of Beauty; and v. Cognitive and Intellectual Development. ECCDE Levels ECCDE caters for two (2) broad levels and these are: i. Day-Care This level caters for children aged 0 to 2 years. Day-Care is a service provided to parents who work or have other commitments, which makes it difficult for them to look after their young children at home. The children are dropped at the Day-Care Centre in the morning and picked later in the day when parents are through with their work schedules. The centre stands in for the parents as it provides care, affection and love to the young children. ii. Early Education (Pre-School) a. Nursery A nursery is an institution that helps children aged 3 to 4 years to develop socially, physically, mentally and emotionally by providing them with playmates and play resources. The focus of nursery centres is promotion of social interaction of young children from different social backgrounds through play. a. Reception Reception level is the last stage in the ECCDE classification hierarchy which caters for the 5 and 6 years old learners. This is a preparatory stage for entry into Grade 1. The teaching and learning at a pre-school is largely informal through guided and unguided play with formal teaching (pre-academic) taking about 40 percent of the programme. The academic learning prepares them for smooth transition to formal education at Grade 1. The Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education will only offer Levels ii a. and ii b. in its programmes.
  • 23. 22 | P a g e Key Competences for Learners at Early Education At this level the child should demonstrate: i. Social interaction skills ii. Elementary pre-literacy skills iii. Elementary pre-numeracy skills iv. Fine and Gross Motor skills Curriculum for Early Education The curriculum for these levels will be dominated by play and pre-learning activities based on the following learning areas: i. Social Studies ii. Environmental Science iii. Numeracy iv. Literacy and Language v. Expressive Arts Curriculum Changes at this level The curriculum at this level has been standardised and linked to the Primary Education level. Previously centres used different curricula and some learning activities did not link Grade 1. To avoid this, there will be need to: i. develop a national curriculum for ECE for use by all the providers in Zambia and; ii. create learning areas linked to Primary School. At this level, much time shall be devoted to Social Interaction which forms the main purpose of Pre-school Education. The Social Interaction will consist of guided and unguided activities of different types which are meant to develop various skills, positive attitudes and values. The language of instruction at this level will be a familiar Zambian Language. Contact Time Table 2: Time Allocation at Early Education No. Learning Areas Time Allocation per Week 1 Social Studies 2 hours 2 Environmental Science 2½ hours 3 Literacy and Language 3½ hours 4 Numeracy 3 ½ hours 5 Expressive Arts 3½ hours Total 15 hours Child Development Assessment Assessment at this level focuses on assessing the developmental milestones of children aged 0 to 6 years. It can be done continuously through the various activities that children are engaged in. The assessment results should not be used for judging the child or comparing them with other children. Early identification of developmental challenges (screening) is the key purpose for assessing children at this level. It should facilitate the child’s development in all the domains with a view to finding solutions. Assessment tools such as Child Development Assessment Tool for Zambia (CDAZ) should be used when you want to find out how the child is growing from one age level
  • 24. 23 | P a g e to another, or when you see that the child is not growing well. This can be used on a day to day basis. The tool offers multiple opportunities for one to develop an understanding of children’s developmental challenges and respond to their needs. THE ECE TEACHER EDUCATION CURRICULUM STRUCTURE Teacher Education This section covers the curriculum for Teacher Education at ECE Level. Pre-Service and In-Service All colleges of education at each level will provide two forms of programmes under Teacher Education. These will be Pre-Service and In-Service Teacher Education programmes. Pre-Service is the kind of Teacher Education intended for candidates who have no initial formal teaching orientation or experience. The knowledge, skills, positive attitudes and values that student teachers acquire during the course should enable them implement the school curriculum effectively. The duration of the course leading to a diploma in education shall be three years. The rationale is to accommodate more content in the college curriculum so as to adequately prepare the student teachers. On the other hand, the course leading to a certificate in education shall be two years. However, the duration for the degree programme will be as stipulated in the respective institutions of learning but shall not be less than four years. In-service Education is a very important aspect of providing Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to serving teachers and teacher educators. Teacher Education institutions will offer programmes of various durations depending on identified needs. The Ministry will continue to exercise a co-ordinating function and ensure that programmes fit within the framework of an overall comprehensive scheme, and are not just haphazard. The strategic approach under the In-Service Teacher Education will embody a number of basic principles of provision, among them the following: i. Programmes will be demand driven, responding to the identified societal needs. ii. The majority of the In-Service programmes will focus on institutional needs and will be institutional based or based in Resource Centres. iii. Cascade models will be given special consideration, subject to avoiding too much dilution at the lower levels. iv. Cost effective programmes that reach large numbers of personnel will be given high priority. v. Programmes offered under In-Service mode shall be both short and long term as designed by the institutions. The duration of these short courses shall vary from one week to twelve weeks; through workshops, seminars, conferences and face-to-face teaching and learning modes to enhance the teaching profession. The long-term courses are usually upgrading courses for teachers who are qualified for subject-based teaching. The duration of these courses shall be about twelve to twenty-four weeks. These courses should be designed to help upgrade the professional and academic qualifications of teachers and teacher educators to appropriate academic and
  • 25. 24 | P a g e professional levels. Higher institutions of learning shall be instrumental in providing long term courses to teachers who wish to upgrade their professional and academic qualifications. Distance Education The institutions of learning providing Teacher Education, guided by the MESVTEE will develop Distance Education programmes for Pre-Service and In-Service Teacher Education. The Ministry shall ensure that all Pre and In-Service programmes delivered through the Distance Education mode are handled by educators who are qualified in Distance Education methodologies. School Experience School Experience is a very important component of teacher preparation. During this period, student teachers experience the real school environment and demonstrate progressive proficiency in a variety of learning areas, teaching and professional skills. The success of the School Experience will depend on the collective input of the colleges/ institutions of education, the practicing schools and the student teacher. School Experience shall last not less than one full School Term. Teacher Education Programmes The programmes to be developed under this ECE teacher education Curriculum Framework will be those aimed at preparing teachers for the Pre-School Sector of the education system. The programme will be designed in such a way that they will enable teachers to qualify for a Certificate in ECE. However, the aspirations of the Ministry are to have all teachers with a degree as a minimum qualification. Early Childhood Education course will be one of the programmes to be offered by different Teacher Education institutions. This programme will prepare teachers to teach children that are aged 3 to 6 in the ECE centres. The programme will also prepare teachers to qualify for a Diploma or Degree. Key Competences for Teachers at ECE Level Teachers’ professional life revolves around knowledge and learners. The knowledge is always increasing and changing while the learners are uniquely different and live in the changing social environment. Against this background, ECE Teacher Education Programmes will focus at producing a teacher with high levels of competences in: i. Material that is to be taught (subject matter); ii. Skills in communicating that material to the learners (Teaching methodologies); iii. Understanding educational foundations ; iv. Creativity, constructiveness and innovation (Skill acquired); and v. Providing competent leadership. Some Changes in the Early Childhood Education Curriculum The following are some significant changes in the ECE Teacher Education Curriculum: i. Special Education: this component has been introduced in the ECE curriculum for teacher training in order to provide student teachers knowledge and skills that will enable them to: a. Identify learners with special educational needs early enough and provide necessary interventions
  • 26. 25 | P a g e b. Use Sign Language and Braille so as to enable them to communicate effectively with learners who have severe hearing and visual impairments respectively. ii. Study Areas in the ECE teacher education curriculum have been linked to school curriculum so that the student teachers become familiar with school curriculum while at college. iii. Entrepreneurship Education shall be integrated in the ECE curriculum for teacher education. This study area is intended to provide students with knowledge and skills that will enable them realise the value of the skills they may possess and also initiate in their learners such awareness through games and play. iv. Information and Communications Technology shall be offered by all the Teacher Education institutions in order to equip student teachers with sufficient skills in this new learning area. v. Practical subjects have been allocated more time in order to equip student teachers with sufficient skills. CURRICULUM FOR ECE - TEACHER EDUCATION Education Foundations i. Child Psychology ii. Theory and Practice of Education iii. Production of Aids (Teaching/Learning Aids) iv. Sociology of Education v. Research Methods vi. Health, Nutrition and First Aid vii. Special Education viii. Entrepreneurship Education Teaching Courses i. Language Development ii. Music, games and Dances iii. Art and Design iv. Mathematics v. Information and Communications Technology vi. Integrated Science vii. Social Studies Contact Time in Teacher Education Institutions Time allocation to the learning areas/subjects will be determined by institutions themselves. More time should be allocated to practical subjects in line with what has been done at school level. Co-Curricular Activities All teacher trainees will be expected to be involved in the following activities which are part of the ECE teacher education curriculum: i. Clubs and Associations ii. Sports iii. Preventive Maintenance
  • 27. 26 | P a g e iv. Production Unit
  • 28. 27 | P a g e CHAPTER FIVE EFFECTIVE ECE CURRICULUM IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES INTRODUCTION Successful implementation of the ECE teacher education curriculum depends on many factors if quality ECE is to be provided. These consist of inputs, processes and outcomes of ECE. The following are some of the key factors: TEACHING METHODOLOGIES The ECE teacher education curriculum development process should take a global view of the new trends, strategies and practices, and embrace indigenous heritage and thoughts that could fit in the local and national situations. It is important that ECE teachers and teacher-educators use a variety of teaching methods and techniques in order to cater for the range of learning needs taking into account the available local resources. The ECE teachers and teacher-educators should as much as possible, use methods that promote active learners’ participation and interaction. ASSESSMENTS Assessment is an important tool in the ECE teaching and learning process and is used to determine whether teaching and learning have taken place or not. Performance assessments are not only used to measure what learners know and can do but also to create an opportunity for the teacher to identify challenges learners face in learning. These may include: i. standard-based activities such as matching and sorting that require learners to apply their knowledge skills, positive attitudes and values; and ii. Clearly defined performance targets at key stages of learning at nursery and reception levels. Therefore, ECE teachers and teacher-educators should create opportunities for learners to benefit from the teachers’ guidance, that of peers and outside experts. It must be noted that using assessments in ECE centres enhances learners’ achievement levels. It is based on the idea that learners will improve if they understand the aim of the assessment. It, therefore, follows that ECE teachers and teacher-educators should employ varying types of assessments. This should not only be as a way of measuring the learners’ strengths and weaknesses, but it should also help learners to get used to the assessment procedures and environment. PLANNING AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
  • 29. 28 | P a g e Planning Planning is important in the work of an ECE teacher and teacher-educator. This works as a guide for the effective delivery of lessons and other activities in and outside the ECE centres. Resource Management Effective resource management is important in the achievement of the organisational goals. Colleges of education should use and manage ECE teaching and learning resources prudently. The colleges of education should expose teacher trainees to a variety of ECE teaching and learning resources that they can use in the teaching- learning process. i. Human Resources Colleges of education should ensure that they put in place the right numbers with correct academic and professional qualifications for ECE staff. This will help in the effective implementation of the ECE curricula. ii. Time Allocation and Management Time is a very important resource that should be managed properly. In this regard, all concerned stakeholders should attend to their assignments as required. In the same way, the time allocated to each subject must be utilized correctly. ECE Teachers and teacher-educators should not spend time on activities that are not in the ECE curriculum. iii. Finance The agencies or proprietors must source enough finances to run their learning institutions effectively. Financial resources should be spent largely on the acquisition of ECE teaching and learning materials. The learning institutions should prudently spend the financial resources according to the laid down procedures and regulations. PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT ECE Learning institutions should have appropriate infrastructure such as classrooms, play grounds/parks, Wendy-house, sand pit, lecture rooms/lecture theatres, tutorial rooms and specialised rooms, sleeping room, kitchen, ablution block, demonstration rooms, workshops and resource rooms. This infrastructure should be well stocked with adequate ECE equipment and materials needed for effective teaching and learning. They should also have user-friendly facilities for learners, and learners with Special Educational Needs. The Library is a very important resource-room in a learning institution. Therefore, it must have adequate and appropriate reading and other learning materials for both learners and staff. Other facilities should include adequate playing grounds for the teacher trainees. These are indoor and outdoor designated spaces for football, netball, volleyball and other play and sporting activities. Sporting and play activities are necessary for learners’ physical health and fitness. There should be space for production work where teacher trainees will be involved in the acquisition of practical skills. CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES Co-curricular activities are organised activities, which are part of the formalised teaching schedule. They are a major channel for the development of life skills and formation of positive attitudes and behaviour patterns. With the foregoing, colleges of education should include in their programmes co- curricular activities for all learners.
  • 30. 29 | P a g e Teacher trainees should participate in activities like sports, clubs, societies, gardening, cultural presentations, and meetings of cultural and religious groups. They can also extend the services to the college’s immediate neighbourhood. The colleges of education should develop rich and varied programmes of such activities, which promote a balanced and healthy development of teacher trainees. CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Teachers and teacher-educators are key players in any education system and should regularly attend Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes. This helps in updating pedagogical approaches, pastoral care for learners, assessment procedures, school organization and management, and relationship with parents/guardians and the community. Colleges of education should develop in ECE teachers and teacher-educators the spirit of CPD in order for them to effectively implement the curriculum. Colleges of education should have well-organised CPD programmes for members of staff. Such programmes should be predominantly institutional based. There should be regular paper presentations and professional discussions in identified ECE areas. RESEARCH Research is an important intervention at ECE level. There is need to find out what obtains and what needs to be adjusted or changed completely to suit the obtaining situations. Therefore, in curriculum design and development, it is cardinal to carry out both Action Research and Case Studies to help improve learning and cater for ECE content and the learners. Educational surveys should form part of research work to alleviate all challenges in the ECE sector. Colleges of education should establish a more systematic approach to the use of empirical data in decisions that support improvements in the performance of ECE learners. MONITORING AND EVALUATION Monitoring and Evaluation improve teaching practices. Therefore, colleges of education should monitor, evaluate and analyse the effectiveness of their programmes and the teaching and learning strategies. In undertaking monitoring and evaluation activities, the following should be paid attention to:  Are the aims and objectives reasonable and appropriate?  Are they being achieved? If not, why?  Are resources (staff, money, time, facilities) used to their optimum? There should be follow-ups and continuous monitoring and evaluation.
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