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UNICEF and Ministry of Education concludes Creative Production workshop on Language and Literacy Communication for Young Children and Families in Myanmar

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Yangon, Myanmar, 6 October, 2012: A six-day Language and Literacy Communication Workshop for producing creative children’s books and media materials for children and families concluded in the city today. The workshop gathered about a hundred educators, creative writers, artists and media producers from different ministries, NGOs and media to develop international standard materials to enhance children’s language development and also to increase competencies of families and caregivers to promote children’s language development in both mother tongue and national language.

UNICEF Myanmar in collaboration with key ministries such as Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Ministry of Health supported a workshop on language and literacy on 1-6 October, 2012 which was facilitated by Ms. Barbara Kolucki, a visiting international expert who guided the creative production of materials for young children’s cognitive and language development.

“MRTV produced radio spot on education for children in 2006 also in collaboration with UNICEF and the Ministry of Education, which proved to be highly effective tools for children’s development in the early years. The productions from this workshop are also going to help improve language and literacy skill among children of Myanmar,” said Daw San San Oo, Assistant Director from Myanma Radio and Television (MRTV), the Ministry of Information.  “This time, we have expanded opportunities in Myanmar. We are also developing materials, such as radio magazines for the new FM stations. We hope to continue such productions based on the experiences learnt from this workshop,” added Daw San San Oo.

The children’s books and media materials for television and radio are aimed at young children as well as their parents and caregivers and will be published and broadcast in Myanmar and other major ethnic languages for strengthening children’s language and emergent literacy.

“The workshop also aims to use language and literacy in Early Childhood Development (ECD) as an entry point for valuing diversity and promoting peace,” said Ms. Niki Abrishamian, Chief of Education Section from UNICEF Myanmar. “The core values are formed during early years and through the work you will be producing, you will become the pioneers for supporting teachers and parents to promote and value diversity and peace.”

In addition, the first television spots for children and adults include “Myanamr sign language” in compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“By bridging the language barriers, our work this week can be one important component in the foundation for peace-building and national development,” said Ms. Barbara Kolucki, education consultant from UNICEF in her presentation.

The presentations in the workshop varied with a range of topics: Early Childhood Development (ECD) in Myanmar, Language, literacy and reading in Early Years, Script writing for Books, Radio and Television for Young Children, Insight into ethnic language learning and principles for effective communication for children were made by education experts from UNICEF.

Available data in Myanmar indicate that the richest quintile benefit most by 46% accessing existing ECD services for 3-5 year olds. While only 7.6% from the poorest quintile have access to ECD services. There is a bias towards urban settings with 39.1% of children participating in ECD services compared with 15.9% in rural areas. Participation in ECD activities across the states is highly variable, ranging from 60.7% in Kayah to 5.4% in Rakhine. Older children are more likely to participate. The participation rate is 32.5% for 4-5 year olds compared with 13.8% for 3-4 year olds.

The workshop took place at a time when the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement on behalf of the Government of Myanmar, is taking the lead for the first time in drafting the national multi-sectoral ECD policy addressing the holistic development of young children.

For more information, please contact:
Zafrin Chowdhury, Chief of Communication and Information Section, UNICEF Myanmar,
Ye Lwin Oo, Communication Officer, UNICEF Myanmar, +95-1-375527-32 (Ext: 1448),




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