Exploring the interplay between wellbeing and academic attainment of children

The two-day conference opens discussion on how to balance wellbeing and academic attainment of children

10 March 2022
Four people on a stage during a panel discussion within the conference  UNICEF MK

Skopje, 9 March 2022: Today a two-day conference on the interplay between wellbeing and academic attainment of children was opened by Dimitar Kovachevski, Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Rachel Galloway, UK Ambassador and Patrizia DiGiovanni, UNICEF Representative.

“I see this conference as a valuable resource of knowledge and recommendations that are welcome in creating policies for children in the educational process and the synergy of those policies through the programmes of the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy,” said Dimitar Kovachevski, Prime Minister of North Macedonia.

Organised in partnership between the Government of North Macedonia, the UK Embassy in Skopje and UNICEF the conference will explore how parenting, preschool and education can support efforts to balance fostering innovation, competition and advancement, and at the same time promoting solidarity, wellbeing, and holistic development for every child.

“When we invest in education, we invest in our children and young people to enable them to gain new skills and to develop their capacities. This means they are better equipped to take on new challenges and make a better future for themselves and for their country,” said Rachel Galloway, UK Ambassador.

“The support we give our children in their formative years is the single greatest investment any country can make towards a more secure, resilient, sustainable, and prosperous future,” said Patrizia DiGiovanni, UNICEF Representative. “We must help children to be resilient so that they can cope with uncertainties and support them so that they develop the skills they need to shape a better future for all.”

Recognizing that the foundations of emotional wellbeing and sound mental health begin in early childhood, the first day explored the various ways to nurture holistic development of children in early years at preschool and at home.

“All families need support in the process of upbringing their children, but the vulnerable families facing additional challenges such as poverty, disability or social exclusion need additional help through comprehensive services in the field of social protection, health and education,” said the Minister of Labour and Social Policy Jovanka Trencevska.

Tomorrow the conference will focus on education systems and the opportunities and risks of digitalization while online and the importance of psychosocial support and wellbeing during the education process and later into adulthood.

The conference will conclude with additional insights and conclusions in four main areas:

  • Programmes and policies so that parents develop the parenting skills and take care of their own mental health and wellbeing,
  • Access and quality of preschool to deliver learning programmes to support holistic child development,
  • Education reform to reinventing schools, revitalizing learning and providing psychosocial support to teachers and students, including increasing support to teachers so that they remain the driving force behind education reforms.

Media contacts

Suzie Pappas Capovska
Tel: (02) 3231-244
Irina Ivanovska
Tel: (02) 3231-172


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.mk.

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