What we do


Education Flagship Project

Play2Learn Education Project

“Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them”- Kenneth R. Ginsburg

Help A Child Play To Learn Project:

  • 5, 500 USD can help equip playrooms in 10 community schools
  • 3000 USD can help train teachers in community schools to learn how to inculcate adequate play time in their daily teaching schedules.
  • 1000 USD can help advocacy and orientation programs on the importance of play for children growth and development.

The key to helping children reach their potential — without anxiety — is to find the right balance between work and play. ANCCD is, therefore,advocating the following to communities and stakeholders in the educational sector:

  • That children be given ample time to be creative, to reflect, and to decompress in schools.
  • Encourage children to engage in active play (running around or playing tag) in lieu of passive entertainment (video games or television)
  • That parents buy different typestoys for their children, such as blocks or dolls, that encourage imagination and creativity
  • That parentsshould spend scheduled but unstructured time together with their kids
  • Children are allowed to have a say in which extracurricular activities they are involved in
  • Parents get more involved in their children’s school and take an active role in ensuring that all kids are getting ample free time to play.

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Play is a cherished part of childhood. By finding the right balance between work and play children will grow up happier, better adjusted, and more prepared to conquer the world.

Throughout most of history, kids have spent hour after hour playing with parents, siblings, babysitters, and friends. Play is so important in child development that it’s been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child.

The great pediatrician, Dr. Arnold Gesell, once wrote that ‘The mind of man is hand-made.’ This statement recognizes the tremendous importance to a young child of having exciting objects to hold, listen to, feel and manipulate. And, as young children struggle to create the desired effect with a toy, they at times find the handling of some toys a bit challenging. They realize that in that case, there is perhaps a problem to be solved and that they have to practice to acquire and improve the skills necessary in the use of those toys.

Play is the crucible in which imagination and creativity can be cultivated and expressed. The child who pretends to be a pilot, a teacher, a mother, a fairy, a firefighter is demonstrating some interest in these roles and is using his or her imagination to dream of being in that role. And the child who ‘spanks’ a doll while saying, ‘I don’t want you to do that again,’ is releasing some of his or her own aggressive impulses via this make-believe action instead of trying to mount a direct attack on another person. Play provides just such an outlet for young children.

However, the amount of time children spend playing each day has gone down considerably over the last two decades. A 1989 survey taken by the American National Association of Elementary School Principals found that 96 percent of schools had at least one recess period for kids. A decade later, a similar survey that number has decreased from 96 percent to only 70 percent of kindergarten classes.

In many Nigerian communities, play has become altogether absent in schools and homes for children. Most Parents and teachers who themselves are products of a society which has little or zero tolerance for play, see play for children as inimical to their educational achievements and in many cases teachers associate poor academic performance to “too much play”. A recent survey carried out by ANCCD in Katsina State Nigeria among government and privately owned primary schools, revealed that many schools have been reducing the time committed to free play to focus more on reading and mathematics. This is worsened by the fact that a child’s playtime at home has been negatively affected by the hectic lifestyles of today’s working parents and the increased focus that parents often put on the academic end of their children’s education.

If play is so important to a child’s development, then what’s the impact of the reduction in play? In conjunction with asecondary message that kids are receiving from today’s high-pressure world — that they must be the “best” at all times — kids are showing higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. They even resort to cheating in school more than ever before, according to a survey.

Proposed Direct intervention: ANCCD understands the problem as a systemic one and therefore will continue its advocacy efforts to ensure more active intervention by government, advocate for concurrent behavioural change and demand for better educational services from communities.

We, however, will put our advocacy messages into practice by adopting 10 rural model primary schools in 10 communities of Northern Nigeria and equip them with modern playrooms, renovate play fields and train teachers on how to effectively inculcate play into teaching and learning.

Developments in these schools will be adequately documented with the participation of host communities and government stakeholders in education. Evidence-based advocacy messages will be developed and used as the basis for engagement with government to ensure better foundational education for children.

ANCCD is committed to ensuring all children, especially the most disadvantaged and marginalised, enjoy the right to sound and functional education which should adequately prepare them for an effective transition into productive adulthood.

We will work to ensure that children everywhere are able to participate at different levels in matters affecting their own development. We will reduce common disadvantages related to poverty, location, and other socio-economic statuses.

We advocate for enhanced capacity of service providers in curriculum development, child-friendly and rights-based approaches to education; building on learning achievement and quality standards for education managers and ministry staff at both state and federal levels.

Furthermore, we will advocate and promote children’s participation; enabling children and communities to participate in school governance and education management in inclusive and democratic spaces holding duty-bearers accountable at all levels.

Generally, ANCCD is working toimprove the quality of teaching and learning through progressive research which will support the development of government and donor policy in response to the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals, in particular, those focusing on education quality, access and equity. We will particularly be focused on identifying and explaining where education systems, models, innovations and institutions have resulted in improved participation and outcomes for girls and other marginalised populations. We will work with relevant stakeholders in adopting best practices within the socio-economic climate of Nigeria and other peculiarities in Africa.