Pre-primary education: Why so important?
More than 85% of brain development in very young children is already nearly in place. These early years “provide a crucial window of opportunity for girls and boys to build the foundations of learning and develop skills that can help them succeed in school and in the course of their lives” (UNICEF, 2019, p. 4). Yet, about half of pre-primary age children world-wide are NOT enrolled in pre-primary education.
April 8, 2020, will see the launching of the UNESCO’s 2020 Global Monitoring Report, also referred to as ‘GEM’. For many years now UNESCO has been tracking the progress being made by member nations towards improving their educational systems. One of the areas that is monitored on a regular basis is Inclusion.
The term ‘Inclusion’ refers to access, that is, which children and how many, are excluded from an education because of background (race, religion) or ability. An agreement was reached a few years ago by the UNESCO’s member nations at their 2015 meeting in Incheon (S. Korea), that ‘no matter what argument may be built to the contrary, we have a moral imperative to ensure every child has a right to an appropriate education of high quality’ (UNESCO, 2020, p. 1).
UNESCO (2020). Concept note for 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report of inclusion. Downloaded March 31, 2020, from https://gcedclearinghouse.org/sites/default/files/resources/190167eng.pdf
UNICEF. (2019). A world ready to learn. Downloaded March 5, 2020, from https://www.unicef.org/reports/a-world-ready-to-learn-2019
UNICEF. (2020). 175 million children are not enrolled in pre-primary education. Press release. Downloaded March 31, 2020 from https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/175-million-children-are-not-enrolled-pre-primary-education-unicef
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