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Central Asia meeting focuses on early learning

© UNICEF/SWZK00155/Pirozzi
A small girl in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan

30 November, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan: Delegates from Ministries of Education across Central Asia have just completed a three-day consultation on early learning in the Turkmenistan capital.

Joined by representatives from Ministries of Health, national and international institutions, kindergarten principals and experts from the USA, part
icipants discussed ways to ensure that every child is ready for school, and recommended early learning standards.

The consultation, organised by UNICEF and the Turkmenistan Ministry of Education, aimed to boost participants’ understanding of the importance of developmental readiness for school and their capacity to use early learning standards.

One major outcome was the establishment of a new Thematic Working Group on Developmental Readiness for School. This will expand early childhood care/education and advocate for overall developmental readiness for schooling as an essential prerequisite to a child’s success in the classroom. The Government of Turkmenistan agreed to lead the Thematic Working Group based on recommendations of the Fourth CARK (Central Asia and Republic of Kazakhstan) Education Forum held in Tajikistan in summer 2005.    

“We hope that the recommendations will be adopted at the next CARK Education Forum that will also take place in Ashgabat in summer 2006,” said Mahboob Shareef, UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan. “UNICEF remains committed to working with the government to help fulfil its national priorities and international obligations covering children’s rights,” he said. 

“I’d like to express my gratitude to organizers of this consultation meeting and also to international experts who have shared their research expertise in the field of early childhood development,” said Gulchahra Akubirova, a representative from Tajikistan. “We had an opportunity to discuss the early learning standards of our countries and revise them to be compliant with international standards.”

The workshop took place with the full support and cooperation of both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education.

For more information

Gulyalek Soltanova, UNICEF Communication Officer, UNICEF Turkmenistan. Tel: (+99 312 425 681, email:






UNICEF in Turkmenistan

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