On the International Child Protection Day, Turkmenistan students debate on importance of early childhood development
Students of major universities of Turkmenistan argued for promoting early childhood development (ECD) during the student’ debates at the event on the International Child Protection Day today jointly organised by UNICEF, the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education. In their deliberations, young people called the Government of Turkmenistan, parents and public at large to ensure optimal development of young children by creating an enabling environment for them to grow with good health, access to quality education besides care and love.
Arguments were presented covering wide-ranging dimensions of early childhood development. Students of the Turkmen State Medical University based their arguments in favour of health as the most critical area for the optimal development of the child. Students of the Magtymguly Turkmen State University talked about early learning as a pre-requisite for the child’s development. The International University of Humanities and Development dwelled on the importance of cross-sectoral areas, such as social protection, enabling legislative and policy environment, and budgeting for young children’s development. The Institute of International Relations under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs argued for an important role innovations, media, communication and technologies play to make a strong case for investment in ECD. The debates concluded with one reassuring message – all areas are equally important for promoting early childhood development. ECD must have an intersectoral approach, and the success of the ECD programming depends on the work of all sectors working together.
In her opening remarks, UNICEF Representative, Ms. Shaheen Nilofer, while congratulating the children and all stakeholders on the International Child Protection Day, appreciated strong partnership with different agencies for advancing rights of the children that would enable the country to implement, monitor and measure progress on Sustainable Development Goals for Children.
“Together we can achieve new heights in ensuring that Turkmenistan’s children enjoy good health, are well-nourished, well-developed and protected, and flourish well in school and in life,” said Shaheen Nilofer.
Participants of the child Protection Day event also took stock of the achievements made within the first year of the national communication campaign “First 1000 days of a child’s life is the foundation of his/her happy future” launched last year in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, Ministry of Education and UNICEF. The Head of the Health Information Centre presented the milestones within the second year of the campaign.
In their presentations, representatives of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry and Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan showcased the achievements and way forward in early childhood development. In their opening remarks, respective Deputy Ministers of Health and Education reassured the Government’s commitment in further strengthening ECD in the country. The event was attended by Deputy Chair of the Parliament, Deputy Ministers, ambassadors and members of diplomatic corps, rectors of universities, students, media and specialists from national partner agencies.
The event concluded with an award ceremony for representatives of national mass media who participated in the contest for the best published article or TV and radio piece on early childhood development.
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.org.