UNICEF establishes two preschool services in Lori marz with the financial support of the European Union
Children in Katnarat and Tsater settlements will benefit from early learning.
Yerevan, 11 November 2022 - In coordination with the RA Ministries of Education, Science, Culture and Sports (MoESCS), and of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, Lori regional authorities and other partners, and with the support of the European Union, UNICEF opened two new preschool centers in Katnarat settlement of Tashir consolidated community and Tsater settlement of Odzun consolidated community. The centers will welcome 75 children under the age of five in both settlements.
Within the framework of the Future Today project, funded by the European Union, UNICEF partnered with the local municipalities to renovate and refurbish the allocated rooms and bathrooms, and joined efforts with the Step-by-Step Foundation to ensure selection and training of preschool teachers, providing them with new methodologies of working with young children, especially in mixed age groups. Moreover, new centers were equipped with new educational materials, toys, books and games. Solar panels were also installed to reduce heating and, consequently, maintenance costs.
UNICEF has helped to establish 16 alternative preschools in remote rural settlements and is working in collaboration with donors, including the EU and the Government, to establish 25 more by the end of 2023.
“Unfortunately, there are still 229 settlements that are left without pre-school educational services. The finances of our communities are too limited to build a full-scale pre-school educational institution or completely renovate the existing institution, therefore, there is a need to find alternative solutions and make them applicable in the communities, maintaining the existing pre-school educational standards. We are happy to witness that this key problem was solved today in two more communities with the support of our partners,” noted Tehmine Karakhanyan, Chief Specialist of General Education Department of MoESCS.
“We are proud that UNICEF has been able to contribute to this alternative preschool model which is part of the national pre-school education policy in Armenia and reflected in the 2021 Law on Preschool Education. As we know, only 64 percent of 3–5-year-old children in Armenia are enrolled in early learning. We will continue to support MoESCS to achieve the goals in the Education Development 2030 Strategy to ensure that affordable preschool services are more and more available,” shared Silvia Mestroni, UNICEF Deputy Representative.
In 2022, UNICEF plans to open three new preschool centers in Gegharkunik marz. In addition, with the support of the Armenian community of Argentina and Hayastan All Armenian Fund, UNICEF is working to renovate and refurbish Goris kindergarten #5 so that children have a safe environment to learn in. As a result of the renovation, the community will be able to enroll more children in the kindergarten.
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.