High-Level Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education, Damascus, September 20-22, 2010
UNESCO Beirut and its regional and international partners will hold a high-level conference on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) in Damascus in September.
The conference titled Transforming ECCE in Arab States from Policy to Action, will gather ministries, education experts and members of civil society to focus on strengthening political commitment and broadening the concept and scope of ECCE in policy, strengthening national coordination mechanisms and improving quality.
Particular attention will be given to increasing access and strengthening teacher training as well as reaching children in difficult or disadvantaged situations (girls in rural areas, street children, refugee, internally-displaced and extremely poor children).
The UNESCO 2007 Global Monitoring Report entitled “Strong Foundations” showed that there are approximately 49 million children aged 0-5 in the Arab States, less than 19 per cent of which were enrolled in an ECCE programme or initiative in 2006.
A study conducted by UNESCO Beirut highlights challenges in the region which include limited access; low political will and a lack of a coordinated approach to the management of ECCE services. However Interest in ECCE is steadily growing among governments, civil society organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Evidence of this can be seen in the initiation of new National Councils of Motherhood and Childhood, and the increasing establishment of ECCE departments in Schools of Education.
The conference will also serve to prepare Arab Member States for the World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education (WCECCE), due to be held in Moscow on September 27 to 29, 2010.
Contact: Dr. Hegazi Y. Idris
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