UNICEF and the Government of Bulgaria Establish Gtashen’s First Early Learning Centre
Partners also improve early learning and rehabilitation services in Amasia consolidated community
Yerevan, 1 June, 2021 – UNICEF, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports (MOESCS) and the Government of Bulgaria successfully close the partnership today, whereby a new early learning center was established in Gtashen settlement, while the only kindergarten in Amasia consolidated community was renovated and replenished with rehabilitation services for young children with disabilities.
“For the past several years, with the support of the Government of Bulgaria, UNICEF worked to improve early learning services and expand access to early learning and rehabilitation across Amasia community,” said Mr. Yuri Oksamitniy, UNICEF Representative in Armenia. “Early learning services are of primary importance for brain development in children and lay the groundwork for future success in school and beyond. UNICEF will continue this work to reach more remote communities and children across Armenia.”
Within the scope of the partnership, UNICEF trained the staff of both kindergartens in child-friendly early learning methodologies, as well as on how to support children with developmental delays and/or disabilities. The center was provided with new didactic learning materials and games, and new furniture and solar panels. The project also ensured that the local health, social and educational services will work together with parents in Amasia kindergarten to support the early identification and inclusion of children with disabilities. Partners organized a number of meetings with caregivers in the community to encourage that parents enroll their children with disabilities in the education system of the community.
“The Government highly appreciates the design and establishment of early learning centres in remote communities. The Ministry of Education initiated a large package of reforms, within the framework of which the Law on Pre-School Education was amended to include the alternative model for early learning services. From now on, small communities with no kindergarten will have the opportunity to get support in order to establish one of the alternative models,” noted Mr. Arsen Baghdasaryan, Head of the Department for General Education of MoESCS.
Gtashen settlement in Amasia did not have its own kindergarten until this project. Together with the community, UNICEF worked to renovate the dedicated area in Gtashen school to establish the early learning services, as well as renovated the lavatory, provided the center with new learning materials and games, and finally built a new outdoor playground.
“The establishment of this early learning centre will prevent migration from our community. If children are not provided with the necessary services in the community, then parents, especially young parents, want to move out so that their children are not left behind. For a bordering community like Gtashen, early learning services are also important in that they provide children with the necessary foundation and equal opportunity for their development,” said Mrs. Jemma Harutyunyan, the leader of Amasia consolidated community.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.