UNICEF Social Inclusion, Policy and Budgeting

Three Hours a Week: Reducing Disparities and Scaling Up Access to Quality Pre-primary Education in Guyana, Suriname and St. Lucia

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AUTHOR Leslyn Thompson, Audrey Rodrigues, Dennis Arends, Heather Stewart, Niloufar Pourzand and Rene Van Dongen
ORGANIZATION UNICEF
TYPE Working Paper
DATE 2007
TOPIC Child-sensitive social protection
LANGUAGE English
ABSTRACT

Evidence suggests that pre-primary education substantially improves a child’s ability to make the transition into compulsory primary and secondary schooling and continues to positively impact a child’s development into adolescence and adulthood. This paper discusses and analyses viable policy options to scale up access to quality early childhood education in Guyana, Suriname and St. Lucia with a special focus on the reduction of disparities between different geographical locations and socio-economic groups in those countries. Children from certain marginalized areas of these countries fail to attend pre-primary school because care-givers aren’t aware of its importance and because of the high cost in terms of cash output, time and effort.  This paper offers a plan in which each child would receive at least three hours of pre-primary education with a qualified teacher as a simple, affordable policy option to initiate the process of scaling up a quality pre-primary education system.


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