Report on World Forum 2019 participation
It gives me great pleasure to present before you this report on my participation in the World Forum on Early Childhood Care and Education 2019. This wofo took place in Macau, China, from 8th April to 11th April at the Grand Shereton Hotel. I was participating as the leader of Working group on Curriculum Initiative, as an Ambassador and a presenter.
Mission of the World Forum Foundation is to promote an ongoing global exchange of ideas on the delivery of quality services for young children in diverse settings. World Forum Foundation is committed to improving life chances of all the world’s children by connecting, informing and inspiring the adults who support the growth and development of young children. Work of the World Forum is carried out by eleven working groups led by volunteers from around the world. In addition, the World Forum Global Leaders for Young Children, identifies and develops the next generation of Early childhood leaders throughout the world. All World Forum activities are grounded on the 5 core values that are – Children, Relationships, Change, Differences and Spirit.
This year there were 700 delegates from 100 countries around the world participating in this conference.
The first day began with a core team meeting of the working groups to take forward the work done by the group so far and to decide the further Plan of Action. There were also optional tours to Early Childhood Centers in Macau which I could not join due to the working group meetings. Our working group on Curriculum was working on global curriculum perspectives since 2007 Wofo held in Malaysia and the significant work of our group is we have derived 11 Universal Principals of Pre-school curriculum and got them endorsed during the World Forum held in Honolulu, Hawai Islands. Now the ongoing work, for coming years is to take these Principals for further action and copy rights to UNICEF and UNESCO, but right now they can be used as base guidelines by any ECE centers over the globe. We have also thought upon additions and amendments such as advocating for children’s rights for play, inclusion of trainings and professional development programs for Teachers and center directors. This working group on curriculum works in collaboration with the working group on world play.
I participated in the presenters group of ‘Advocating Play through Play’ and my co-presenters were Tracy Lockwood from Canada and Philip Koh from Singapore. Our session mainly focused on the facts about how play is a part of main curriculum and has a significant part to play in helping mental and physical development of children. Numerous play activities depicting learning opportunities were discussed and played in this session. In my presentation I specially laid emphasis on Importance of Free Play sessions in Pre-schools and the various types of free play activities. As a moderator for the session on ‘Child centered learning within structured curricula’, Dr. Gloria Julius from United States , Dr. Jodie Riek from Australia, and Paula Westpatrick from Canada.
In the entire 4 days conference, variety of topics were discussed, focused upon and presented on this platform by around 300 presenters from around the world. To name the few of them are –
- Early Brain development
- Promoting change through Professional Development
- Nature and young Children
- Indigenous cultures and valuing diversity
- Human movements – immigration, displacement and refugees
- Economics in ECD
- Sustainable development goals
- Strengthening resilience
- Environment and outdoor spaces
- Men in Early Childhood Education
- Using social Media for Advocacy
- Impact of loss of language and culture on child’s identity and Hope for the future
- Strategies to care for children in dire situations
And many more topics were discussed. Mentioning all will make a long list.
The entire 4 days conference involved lot of learning, making connections, interactions, sharing stories, making commitments and lots of fun.
I sincerely thank our management for the great support given to me in this endeavor. It would be unfair if I don’t mention Rati Bhosekar Mam, teachers of pre-primary English medium and Marathi medium to help and support me in my presentation preparation and I would also like to mention Mr. Gurunath Sambhoos who made the promotional videos to put on the Wofo website due to which we had a great number of audience in our session.