Rigidity in the preschool education system and a mismatch between the human and financial resources and targets set are among the main reasons for low access to preschool services for children. The objective of pre-school education is largely focused on care rather than a comprehensive set of health, care and developmental goals. Up to 92% percent of pre-school enrolment is in full-day centers which provide nutrition and care alongside education and development services, however educational quality is lacking.
Working on a interconnected prolonged education system
In school education where access is free and compulsory, and therefore high, quality of service is still quite low in some regions.
National assessment results show that over 63 percent of children (grades 5 to 9) meet minimum state educational standards. The education workforce is not evenly and equitably distributed. The professional development of the workforce is far from systematic and is not adequately regulated. The low income of teachers and poor management and coordination result in reduction of workforce efficiency and effectiveness.
UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministries of Public and Preschool Education will implement programs to ensure that by 2020, girls and boys benefit equitably from improved preschool education and enhanced quality of basic education including in emergencies.
UNICEF is providing technical expertise to develop the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Preschool Education and the State Committee of Statistics to establish an Education Management Information System (EMIS). It is envisaged that a robust EMIS will not only enable improved data collection and analysis for evidence-based policies and decision making in the early childhood education sub-sector, but also enable the government and other stakeholders to monitor the provision and quality of early childhood education services more efficiently and effectively.
The focus of the program is not only on ensuring early childhood education services are expanded and quality of basic education is improved, but it aims at ensuring services are reaching the most vulnerable
In an effort to prepare students for life-long learning, UNICEF is supporting the three Education Ministries to transform the curriculum from knowledge-based to competency-based. In 2018 the revised preschool and general education curriculum will be piloted in selected preschools and the efficacy of the new approach will be assessed. UNICEF is also providing technical expertise to improve existing policies and legislative frameworks on inclusive education.
After active propaganda by UNICEF, the government put the issue of early childhood development on the agenda, devoting more attention and funds to this sub-sector. Subsequently, the government launched a five-year state program to improve the quality of pre-school education.
An alternative early education and school readiness program has been developed with the support of UNICEF and is currently being implemented in all fourteen regions of the country.
More than half of the curriculum of the country's teacher training system is now in line with child-friendly schooling principles, thanks to the support of UNICEF. Continuing to further build the capacity of the government to use and analyze data from measuring student achievement to improve teacher skills.
UNICEF supported a critical review of early childhood education policies. It is expected that the results of this review will be used in the development of the law on education and state requirements for pre-school education.
UNICEF supported the development of a first education sector plan for Uzbekistan. A plan providing a long-term approach to programming in the education sector, the success of which led to a request for a new education sector plan for the next four-year period.