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Early Childhood Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sharing Experiences and Learning from the French model of “Ecole Maternelle”

SARAJEVO, 10 May 2013 - As part of the ongoing cooperation with government partners at all levels for the expansion of access to quality early childhood education, UNICEF supported a four-day Training of Trainers on early childhood education.

A team of three experts facilitated sessions on the French model of “Ecole Maternelle”. The training was organized in collaboration with the French Institute and the French Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This capacity building initiative is part of a broader partnership between UNICEF and “Dubai Cares” on Early Learning Opportunities for Children in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“In a context where only around 13% of children gave access to early childhood education, it is essential to bring together relevant government partners and early childhood professionals in order to substantially increase access to quality preschool for all children in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Given the proven impact of preschool education on the social, cognitive, emotional and educational development of children, UNICEF will continue to support the country to improve access to quality early childhood education, including for the most marginalized groups of society. We are very pleased that the Embassy of France is joining us in these efforts.” – stressed the UNICEF Representative in BiH, Florence Bauer.

“Lessons learned about institutional support to improve preschool education in France make us both proud and obliged to share such experience, for the benefit of all children in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We look forward to this continued partnership with UNICEF in similar future knowledge exchange and technical support.” – said French Ambassador in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Roland Gilles.

The seminar was attended by representatives of relevant Ministries, preschool teachers and professionals from Republika Srpska, all Cantons of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and District Brcko. A representative from the Ministry of Civil Affairs appreciated the quality of the workshop and stressed the role of UNICEF as the lead agency in the reform of the preschool education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The 45 participants gained new skills through interactive and innovative training sessions, and will disseminate this knowledge with colleagues in their institutions, schools and communities.

“As a Director of one education institution and Professor of preschool education, I wish to transfer the knowledge and experience I have acquired at the training to other professors and teachers who work at the Kindergarten Vitez” – emphasized Ms. Ljiljana Kovač, the Director of the Vitez Kindergarten

“I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to participate in this training, as part of the team of trainers from the Republic of Srpska. I must emphasize that I am especially honored with the visit of experts on preschool education who have gained their experience in France, and who adequately presented the early education system in France as well as the functioning of the “ecolle maternelle”. I am pleased that the participants will have an opportunity to transfer what they have learnt directly within the preschool institutions in which they work. They will therefore strengthen and increase the quality of work with preschool children, especially as the French preschool model is recognized as one of the best in the world.” – concluded Ms. Natasa Cvijanovic from the Ministry of Education and Culture of Republic of Srpska.

“The training was especially valuable because it enabled the participants – representatives of ministries, pedagogical institutes, preschool teachers from BiH – not only to develop their professional skills but also to have a chance to get to know each other better, connect, share knowledge, identify strengths and weaknesses in the existing preschool education system, and define future directions in creating quality obligatory preschool education.” – added Ms. Nefiza Dautovic from the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Herzegovina, Neretva Canton.

For further information, please contact:

Nela Kacmarcik
UNICEF BIH, Sarajevo, Zmaja od Bosne b.b.
Phone: +387 33 293 612
Mob: +387 61 192 084




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