"Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge and Practice into ECCE: A Comparison of Programs in The Gambia, Senegal, and Mali"
Alicia Ranck Soudée
Current Issues in Comparative Education
Abstract: "Early Childhood Development (ECD) has emerged as a theme in international and African dialogue on education in recent years. UNESCO’s Division of Basic Education Early Childhood promotes an integrated approach to Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) policy development and review. The study examines how this is implemented in three West African countries, with similar cultural groups in their diverse populations: The Gambia, Mali and Senegal. In The Gambia there is thus far a proposal on how indigenous knowledge should be included in early childhood programs. The clos d’enfants [children’s groups], in Mali demonstrates similar ideas through an international partnership with a local initiative program, developed in Bamako using mothers, local materials and toys made by the participants. Senegal’s program combining local traditions and European pedagogical philosophies, the case des tout-petits [children’s huts], came from the President. Analysis of these three cases suggests that these programs and proposals may be a springboard for UNESCO and partners to further develop ECCE with indigenous knowledge and practice in Africa."