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Turkmenistan raises capacity of specialists on early childhood development

The new programme of cooperation between UNICEF and the Government of Turkmenistan for 2016-2020 focuses on the realization of the rights of young children and children with disabilities to survive, develop, be protected and participate. Access of all children to early learning and development, introduction of developmental paediatrics and early intervention services necessitate bringing together partners from different sectors, fostering multidisciplinary expertise, promoting and formalising inter- and cross-sectoral collaboration and referrals primarily within health, education and social protection sectors.

This April, Ashgabat has hosted four interconnected capacity-building events, which unite childcare specialists and expose paediatricians, pre-school educators, rehabilitation centre caregivers, psychologists, neuropathologists, speech therapists and management of kindergartens and infant’s homes to the new school of thought in early childhood development. Six international experts have shared best international practices that form the foundation for the best start in life of every young child, including conducive family environment, continuum of quality care, in which prevention of child abandonment, better parenting and early child stimulation, early identification of developmental challenges and early learning are core.

Following a continuous sequence of the training programme on child development and school readiness, this month, experts from the Saint-Petersburg Early Intervention Institute, trained specialists on play based early intervention techniques and use of play for children’s optimal development. A team of experts from the same Institute facilitated the first training module on building early intervention services for children under three years of age in residential care, which will be followed by three consecutive modules to ensure required structural changes and capacities of the staff to provide child-centred care and development in the infant homes nation-wide. A multi-disciplinary group of health and education specialists have been introduced to innovative training on physical and occupational therapy, which will be followed by four training modules to prepare a core of specialists and by the development of in-service curricula for the above disciplines.

An expert from the St. Petersburg University facilitated a working meeting for key relevant professionals from the health and education systems, responsible for preparation of psychologists and health professionals providing family support. The meeting set this year plan for training of the core group of specialists who will develop training modules on psycho-social support for vulnerable families and children, including children with disabilities, for integration in the relevant pre- and in-service training programmes.      

UNICEF supported expert from Canada visited Turkmenistan to assist the Ministry of Education in building pre-primary curriculum and parental empowerment programme. Together with the education specialists, UNICEF will also review pre-service and in-service programmes for preparation of pre-school teachers.                      

UNICEF will continue partnering with the Government and other stakeholders on strengthening the ECD services in Turkmenistan. At the policy level, UNICEF will provide assistance in developing an ECD action framework for 2016-2020 that will reflect achievements and gaps of the National Programme on Early Childhood Development for 2011-2015 and focus on equity-based services for children, including the most vulnerable ones.         


For more information, please contact:

Mr. Jepbar Bashimov

UNICEF Education Specialist



Ms. Gulyalek Soltanova

UNICEF Communication Officer

Tel: +99312 425682 (ext.318)

Fax: +99312 420830







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