Turkey's Changemakers: CABA-CAM: Spreading early childhood education
The CABA-CAM Multipurpose Early Childhood Education Centre, which works on spreading early childhood education, became the 12th Changemaker of the eighth season of the Sabanci Foundation Turkey’s Changemakers Program.
According to statistics from the Education Reform Initiative 2016, schooling rate in early childhood education is approximately 33 percent among children aged between three and five. The participation rate of early education is even lower among Syrian refugee children. On the other hand, early childhood education, in which attendance is not equal among everyone, has a great importance in the completion of children’s mental and physical development.
Not only state institutions, but also civil society organizations work on spreading early childhood education and providing the service particularly to disadvantaged children. One of these efforts is done at the Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University’s CABA-CAM Multipurpose Early Childhood Education Centre.
While carrying out academic researches, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ebru Aktan Acar started a project that brings together children at the age of early education, their families and students of education faculties. She created a model in which prospective early education teachers teach disadvantaged children and where they find the opportunity to put theory into practice. In 2008, she launched her first class with the contributions of the Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University and CABA Association, under the roof of the university.
CABA-CAM provided education to more than 130 children at the age of early education with more than 250 volunteer prospective teachers until today. Volunteers carry out questionnaires on a local level in order to identify disadvantaged families with the support of the Çanakkale province’s Kepez Municipality. It not only includes children, but also their parents, through seminars. Within the project, refugee children from several countries, particularly from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria receive education too.
CABA-CAM branched out of Acar’s dreams of countering social inequality in early childhood education. She created an alternative model that includes children at the age of early education, their parents and prospective teachers. She created a huge change that will continue for generations in the lives of prospective teachers and children.