Gaborone City commemorates International Day of Play

Botswana: Gaborone City Council hosted an event to commemorate International Day of Play. The FNB park in Gaborone served as the venue for the event, which was hosted on Tuesday.

The event is being hosted in collaboration with Ministry of Education and Skills Development, UNICEF, Learn to Play and Ministry of Health. The opening address of the event was delivered by Principal Home Economics I Natash Maphane.

She thanked the people of Gaborone City for joining them during the first ever commemoration of International Day of Play. She stated that play is a fundamental right of every child as stipulated in various statutes including the conversion on the right of a child.

Maphane also highlighted that every experience in children’s formative years are building blocks for the future. Therefore play and play based learning should be seen as a critical component of Early childhood Development.

The organizers of the event highlighted that it lays the foundation for lifelong learning, behavior and health. The event was hosted with the aim of highlighting the significance of the play time in a child’s development

UNICEF Deputy Representative, Alexandra Illmer also attended the commemorative event. She explained that through play, children develop essential connective , physical, creative, social, and emotional skills.

All these skills nurtured in the early childhood are extremely important to navigate and flourish in our rapidly changing world.

She indicated that in an educational setting, play –based learning has been recognized as an effective approach to actively engage students in the learning process.

Illmer said the objectives of this day were to encourage parents, teachers and other stake holders to create an enabling environment for playful interactions with children. Further, they want to share with key stakeholders the necessity of fostering an environment that support mindful play.

She emphasized that the commemoration wants to engage parents, ECD Teachers, ECD  personnel and administrators. The early

Education Specialist Leseka Mukokomane encouraged the government  teachers and parents to be more engaged on play. She further urged them to create more conducive environments, centers, schools and homes for play to benefit children at this critical stage of their lives.