Preschool for All campaign increases preschool enrolment rates in the north of Montenegro
"Preschool for all" campaign
NIKSIC, 10 November 2016 - After excellent results achieved last year, campaign Preschool for All, with UNICEF support, continued during the spring this year in six municipalities with the lowest preschool enrolment rates in the north of the country.
The campaign has managed to achieve its goal and raise awareness of the importance of preschool education, and also contributed to the increase in the preschool enrolment rates in the north part of Montenegro. Data collected in kindergartens in these six municipalities show that there is an average increase of over 20 per cent more children enrolled in kindergartens this year when compared to the last year.
Numerous artistic and educational events, as well as the outdoor preschool, were organized for preschool children and their parents in Mojkovac, Kolasin, Pljevlja, Zabljak, Savnik and Pluzine, in cooperation with NGO Pedagogical Center, Faculty of Philosophy - Department of Preschool Education, Faculty of Drama Arts and "Vasa Pavic“ Art School for Music and Ballet.
Stressing the importance of preschool education, UNICEF Representative Benjamin Perks, said that attending the preschool results in better secondary school outcomes, and it also results in better university outcomes.
It is important because you are helping individual kids to learn and there could be nothing more important that that, but on top of that is a really brilliant way to serve your community, because you are helping kids when their brains most need it.
He said that the Strategy for early and preschool education in Montenegro has three main goals - full coverage of children with preschool education, good quality and harnessing innovation, as well as fiscal sustainability.
The first results of the 2016 Preschool for All campaign are promising - almost all parents, 91 per cent, described the campaign as a useful introduction for parents and children of preschool age with the work of kindergartens in Montenegro. About 88 per cent of them said that it was the campaign which got them personally interested; and nearly half, 47 per cent, said they have learned at least something new about preschool education.
According to Arijana Nikolic Vucinic, director of the Directorate for preschool and elementary education and education of persons with special educational needs in the Ministry of Education, raising awareness of the importance of preschool education among parents is important, and that is precisely what the Preschool for All campaign aimed to achieve.
As some mothers said, they had someone to take care of their children at home, but this campaign showed them what their children will get by going to the kindergarten. That is why they decided to send their children to preschool, regardless of home care. It is on us to continue this trend, to achieve an ever higher rate of children covered by preschool education.
The results of the campaign have shown that parents who were familiar with the campaign have expressed more positive attitude towards kindergartens after the campaign. Finally, every other parent, 53 per cent, who knew about the campaign initiated enrolment procedure for their child.
For Goran Barovic, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy in Niksic, participating in the campaign’s events across the country benefitted the student of the faculty.
“Besides the theoretical knowledge they will acquire at the Faculty, it is important for our students of pedagogical orientation to also have the practical learning. Having been engaged in this campaign, through volunteer work, they had the opportunity to design and create materials, to practice implementing and teaching in public events and to exchange experience with older colleagues and teachers,” Barovic said.
The Preschool for All campaign is part of a broader initiative of the Montenegrin educational system, supported by UNICEF and aimed at achieving 100 percent preschool coverage of children aged 3 to 6 until 2020.