Early Childhood Education in Tajikistan
Preschool education is the foundation of lifelong learning and development. The focus on preschool is essential. Access to quality early childhood education (ECE) services not only gives children better chances at success in school, but better learning outcomes in the future. It enhances the efficiency of the school system by reducing repetition and drop-out and improving achievement, especially among girls and marginalized groups. If timely and sufficient investments in early childhood are made, human capital and momentum will grow and provide a great and unique opportunity for the country to improve its future economic prospects.
Over 84 per cent of young children aged 3 to 6 years old in Tajikistan do not receive basic services of early childhood education, particularly in rural and remote areas due to insufficient public resource allocations, demographic dynamics with intensive population growth, reliance on external funding and unaffordability of parents to cover fees. Despite increased investment and focus on Early Childhood Education (ECE), the enrolment rates have stagnated at 15.9 percent, without significant change since 2014.Over 70 per cent of ECE teachers do not have required qualification to support young children’ development and learning.
By 2025, the government aims to attain 30 per cent preschool enrolment for children aged 3 to 6 years old, almost doubling the 2019 enrolment rate. Considering limited public resource allocations and continuous demographic growth the national target to increase ECE enrolment for children of 3-6 years of age remains challenging to achieve.
In addressing these challenges, UNICEF maintains a policy dialogue and provides solutions to remedy inequities in the geographic distribution of preschools and in the affordability of ECE services across the income distribution. Other priorities remain to include children with disabilities, promoting higher participation by girls in preschool, and providing teaching and learning materials in minority languages.