EELC Meeting Leads to 2 Countries in Name of CDA

February 28, 2019

Published by CounciLINK on February 28, 2019

IMG-20190207-WA0116Friendships and meaningful interactions can form in incredible ways. Consider the case of Antoinette Ami Ashong of Ghana, who shares her incredible experience with Dr. Muriel Baskerville this issue.

Baskerville – with the oversight of Dr. Hassan El Kalla of Badr University Cairo (BUC) – kicked off a CDA pilot program in Egypt last June. She and Ashong met at the Council’s 2018 Early Educators Leadership Conference (EELC) in Washington, DC, and hit it off in a big way: Ashong invited Baskerville to Ghana to tell 80 educators about her CDA program.

In turn, Baskerville invited Ashong and four others to Egypt to see the program firsthand. In her own words, Ashong talks about her journey:

It all started right after the EELC conference 2018 in October in Washington, DC. I decided to organize an early childhood leadership conference and invited Dr. Muriel Baskerville to share with Ghanaian early childhood educators what the CDA is all about.

Though the invitation was very short, I believe it was because of her passion for ECE and her commitment to the Council that she honored the invite, came all the way to Ghana and shared with about 80 educators the CDA credential – a (credential) that is recognized all over the world. This happened in November.

Dr. Baskerville told us about the upcoming Egypt CDA training. I started working on getting people to join me to make it a reality. With Dr. Baskerville’s support preparing invitation letters, etc., five of us had our visas to Egypt. We left for Egypt on the 5th of January. Dr. Baskerville picked us up around 11 p.m. because our flight was delayed. She had arranged for a beautiful apartment for us. It was totally free! With a minibus at our disposal! Awesome! I want to send a very big thank you to her. Without Dr. Baskerville, this program wouldn’t have been possible.

When we got to Egypt, I thought I was a full-grown woman, an educator who is quite on top of my job. Little did I know that the CDA has the power to make full-grown women look like newborn babies learning to crawl.

It was such a great joy for Team Ghana to be part of this wonderful experience we witnessed in the CDA program. Being a trainer myself, I have attended many training sessions but this particular one stands out. This training indeed has increased our confidence, especially in early childhood education and more. A new page in education has been opened to us and we intend to use all that is within our power to transfer this knowledge to many Ghanaians and other nationals who are ready to walk this path with us.

Training started on January 6 – five Ghanaians (four school owners and me), 14 Egyptians and one American. Dr. Baskerville was our main trainer. Great delivery by her. She expected us to be present each day. No absenteeism. With passion, she explained to us the program was being offered by Badr University in collaboration with the Council for Professional Recognition.

We enjoyed 25 days of fantastic training on ECE and 10 days of fun touring interesting places in Egypt. Lectures and seminars included the 6 Competency Standards and 13 functional areas as well as first-aid and CPR. There were daily reading assignments from the CDA Essentials preschool edition and CDA workbooks to reinforce what we learned.

Even when she had a sour throat, she showed up to teach us about how committed we should be as ECEs. We were put in five groups for discussions and hands-on activities such as preparation of daily schedules and menus. We also created a developmentally appropriate learning environment with all the learning centers.

This training was comprehensive and intensive. Always going home with work. I fell in love with the CDA Essentials. Great book. Dr. Baskerville employed intentional and reflective teaching as well as different strategies to keep us engaged, inspired and motivated; we were totally transformed after the training.

All necessary resources were available to facilitate our learning. Before the end of the training, we had made significant progress with our portfolio under (Dr. Baskerville’s) strict supervision. She made sure we revised everything we had learned.

I am now equipped to provide children with all the skills to develop in all domains – physical, cognitive, social-emotional, etc. I can help teachers to better understand children and also collaborate with families. I can work as a professional ECE. Altogether, it is an experience I will never ever forget in my life. I am practicing and preparing for the CDA in the summer in Ghana.

All thanks go to Dr. Baskerville for her support, inspiration, motivation and time for my team and me. I also want to thank Dr. Hassan and all those who played different roles in bringing the CDA program to Egypt and to Africa. I also want to thank the Council for doing a great job. I am forever grateful.

I can’t wait to see the CDA spread in Africa!


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