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International Early Childhood Education / Preschool Education Conference Starts in Sarajevo

UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federal Ministry of Education and Science and Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska organized the unique international conference on education in Early Childhood / Preschool Education called “Increasing early learning opportunities for children in Bosnia and Herzegovina” on 14th and 15th February in Sarajevo.

The conference gather several leading international experts and practitioners, policy makers, researchers, civil society and international organization representatives active in the area of early childhood education, from France, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United States as well as from the UNICEF Regional Office for Central and eastern Europe and Central Asia.

"Quality is key to producing good child development outcomes; especially for the children from low-income families. Poor quality programmes can lead to negative outcomes – language, social and development problems. UNICEF’s concern is that good quality programmes for the privileged and poor quality programmes for the poor can result in widening of disparities". – said Deepa Grover, UNICEF Regional Advisor for Early Childhood Development.

Federal Minister of Education and Science Damir Mašić said at the opening that  the Conference has to stress the need for the increased access of children to preschool education:
“Current access to preschool, estimated from 5 to 12 % is shamefully low, especially in comparison to the European average, or to countries like France which has 99% of children enrolled in preschool education. We must be more engaged to make sure that the budget cuts do not affect education sector. It is clear that budget allocations into preschool education are not the cost, but an investment for the future,” said minister Mašić.

“This Conference, along with a Call for Proposals to Municipalities for programmes which aim at increasing preschool education enrolment for children age 3-6, published earlier this month, represent efforts of UNICEF and government partners to improve opportunities for early childhood / preschool education of children in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the last session we will summarize the recommendations on how to significantly increase early childhood education / preschools education coverage rates from the current worrying low levels of 10% and on how to ensure pre-school education includes the most vulnerable children.”, said UNICEF Representative in BiH, Florence Bauer.
The conference aims at raising awareness about the importance of preschool education and early childhood development, encourage the exchange of good practices and enable identification of major constraints in order to develop recommendations for improved quality and access to early childhood education in BiH.






Počela Međunarodna konferencija o predškolskom-obrazovanju i vaspitanju u ranom djetinjstvu


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