University of Waikato academics enhancing early childhood education in Indonesia

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Senior lecturers Dr Donella Cobb and Dr Sonja Arndt from the Early Years Research Centre (sited in the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research at Waikato) have been working in partnership with UNICEF Indonesia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) to develop an early childhood teacher development plan in the Indonesian region of Kupang.

"From the workshops we have seen the teachers become so much more confident in their abilities, in a relatively short amount of time."

The early childhood centres in the Kupang region cater to children up to the age of six, before they go on to start school.

For the past two years, Dr Cobb and Dr Arndt have worked with UNICEF and MFAT to mentor a group of 50 lead teachers and mentors through a series of workshops. Teachers then return to their often remote villages, travelling up to 2 days each way, to provide ongoing mentoring and professional development to teachers in their communities.

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