Our Happy Neighbourhood: Children's Rights Fulfillment Training for ECE Teachers in Sawahlunto

The Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Early Childhood Care, Education, and Parenting (SEAMEO CECCEP) recently successfully organized a teacher training program in Sawahlunto, West Sumatera, Indonesia. The event was attended by 40 participants, consisting of 20 Early Childhood Education (ECE) teachers and 20 students, who enthusiastically participated in the "Our Happy Neighbourhood" (OHN) module training. The OHN module aligned with the mission of Holistic Integrative Early Childhood Development (PAUDHI) and promoted children's rights. The face-to-face training took place from October 24-25, 2023, to equip teachers with knowledge of children's rights and universal care.

In the spirited atmosphere of the face-to-face training, SEAMEO CECCEP provided participants with knowledge about children's rights and the principles of universal care. The Our Happy Neighbourhood (OHN) module took center stage, addressing crucial issues related to fulfilling children's rights, including the rights to provision, protection, and participation that must be met and promoted in the educational environment.

The program not only provided insights into children's rights but also encouraged participants to embrace the concepts of inclusive and collaborative care. The OHN training wisely responded to the shift in the paradigm of childcare and education from the exclusive responsibility of the family to the shared responsibility of the entire community.

The training event was inaugurated directly by the Head of the Education Department of Sawahlunto, Mr. Asril, S.Pd., M.Pd. He expressed gratitude for providing training for ECE teachers and students of Early Childhood Education, Universitas Negeri Padang. He hoped for continued collaboration with SEAMEO CECCEP in other programs. He also added that the event's occurrence was the result of collaboration between SEAMEO CECCEP, the Education Department of Sawahlunto, and Universitas Negeri Padang.

Teachers and students, as change agents capable of advocating for childcare and education, ensured that every child had the right to grow and develop in a supportive and inclusive environment. Participants not only learned about the brief history of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the characteristics of human rights, and children's rights but also delved into issues related to the rights of well-being, protection, and participation of children.

They also learned to understand the implementation of child-rights-based ECE involving the rights of children from marginalized groups. On the other hand, they also learned about reevaluating the role of play within the framework of child-centered learning. Thus, this training represented a positive step towards shaping an empowered and rights-conscious generation. The program was not just a training but a collaborative effort to form a community with a strong commitment to promoting children's rights.

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