National Early Education Week Highlights the Importance of Preschool Education in Georgia
TBILISI, Georgia, 13 June 2012 - In collaboration with UNICEF, the Ministry of Education and Science launched the first National Early Education Week on 09 June 2012 in the Bombora Recreation Park in Tbilisi.
During this week, a series of educational and entertaining activities took place throughout Georgia with an aim to further raise the awareness of parents and the population at large about the crucial importance of early learning for a child’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional development.
The Week was launched with participation of Ms. Natia Jokhadze, the Head of the Department of Curriculum and General Education of the Ministry of Education and Science and Mr. Roeland Monasch, UNICEF Representative in Georgia.
Within the scope of this initiative the youngest Georgians and their parents have an opportunity to engage in various developmental and entertaining activities in the eight centers that have been set up by early education specialists.
Each center contributes to different domains of development, namely: literacy, science, physical activity, drama, music, art and table games. The implementation of the activities is guided by trained student volunteers. Parents are also being provided with a set of booklets focusing on child development and positive interaction.
Similar events are organized in the municipalities of Marneuli, Mtskheta, Gori, Khashuri, Chokhatauri and Khobi. The final event will take place in Batumi on June 13, 2012 and will be supported by the Batumi State University as well as Batumi’s City Administration.
“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of pre-school education to ensure school readiness among children throughout Georgia,” said Roeland Monasch, UNICEF Representative.
“International research in Europe and the US has again and again found that well-organized pre-school education results in long-term improvements in school success for children at primary and secondary level, including higher grades; lower rates of repeaters; and higher educational attainment. As Georgia is investing in improving the quality of primary- and secondary education, ensuring that children attend quality pre-school education is a crucial and the most cost-effective approach to further improve school performance”, Monasch added.
Quality early learning is vital to children’s optimal physical, mental and emotional growth, yet less than half of Georgia’s young children have access to preschool education. Preschool attendance rates are even lower in rural areas. A lot of parents report that they consider preschool education institutions primarily as places where custodial care for children is provided and less as the pedagogical places where children can learn and further enhance their knowledge and skills to optimally develop their potentials and get ready for school.
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