Raising awareness about learning through play during the commemoration of the Day of the African Child

Aug 12, 2022

Nyamuisi primary school in Kasulu District, Western Tanzania, was a hive of activity on 16th June 2022. The PlayMatters project represented by the International Rescue Committee and Plan International Tanzania joined hundreds of school children, teachers, parents, government leaders, community leaders, and development partners to celebrate efforts of improving the quality of education among African children, and in raising awareness of the importance of play-based learning.

This was during the commemoration of the Day of the African Child, organized by the Kigoma Regional Administration Office. Kigoma region hosts Nyarugusu and Nduta refugee camps and host communities, where the PlayMatters project is being implemented.

Promoting quality education in Africa

The Day of the African Child is commemorated to advocate for quality education in Africa. 

Poem reciting

A student delivering a speech on the importance of education during the commemoration of the Day of the African Child in Kasulu, Tanzania. 

Children dancing

Students performing a drama about empowering children to be future generation leaders.  

Similar event to commemorate the day of the African Child and raise awareness of play-based learning were held in Ethiopia. In Afar region, Plan International Ethiopia commemorated the event at Berga Sefera primary school and in Benishangul Gumuz region, the event was held at Tsore Refugee Camp. Close to 3,000 children, teachers, parents attended the events.

This included Heads of Woreda Education Office, Heads of Women's and Children's Affairs Office, Heads of Teacher Training Colleges, Heads of the Regional Education Bureaus, representatives from Refugee and Returnees Services, UNHCR among other implementing partners. 

Several activities carried out during the commemoration like learning through play activities, friendly sports competitions, poetry, drama, among others. 

Playing cards

Community leaders playing a literacy game during the commemoration of the Day of the African Child in Berga Sefera primary school, Afar region 

football match

A friendly volleyball match between refugee and host community teams in Tsore refugee camp, Benishangul Gumuz region, during the commemoration of the Day of the African child. 

According to Mrs. Fatuma, the Head of Aysaita Woreda Education Office in Afar attending the event at Berga Sefera primary school, ''Although PlayMatters is a relatively new project, we are happy to see some changes in the mindset of teachers. Learning through play is becoming an incentive for children to attend school timely and to the end of the school day.''

According to Nigus Aregaw from the Refugee and Returnee Affairs in Benishangul Gumuz, the agency leading refugee protection and overall coordination of refugee assistance in Ethiopia, promoting quality education is one of the major goals of the agency. ''To realize that, we will continue working with projects like PlayMatters to support quality education using learning through play, he added''

In order to raise awareness of learning through play and the project in general, PlayMatters participates in various events in the refugee settlements and host communities in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. Other events that the project has commemorated in 2022 include World Teachers Day, the International Day of Education, and the World Play Day. 

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