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Early childhood education gets boost with opening of new kindergartens in south

By JT - Sep 11,2019 - Last updated at Sep 11,2019

The new kindergarten in Tafileh, as part of UNICEF’s support, is managed as a community-based centre by ICCS (Photo courtesy of UNICEF)

AMMAN — More children in the south of Jordan are receiving quality, inclusive early childhood education with the opening of a new kindergarten in Tafileh, as part of UNICEF’s support to the government to increase enrolment and attendance throughout the country,  a statement from the UN body said on Wednesday. 

The newly launched kindergarten (KG), managed as a community-based centre by ICCS (Islamic Charity Centre Society), has four refurbished and fully equipped classrooms able to accommodate 200 children across a double shift through UNICEF support. It is one of five new centres opened since last year, providing 750 children with the best start to their education. 

In addition, UNICEF is identifying new sites through public-private partnerships to increase access to early education, particularly in the areas with the lowest levels of enrolment, as well as reviewing by-laws and standards for existing nurseries and KGs to improve efficiency and increase teacher training in inclusive education, so that all children can realise their right to an education, read the statement.

“Quality and inclusive kindergartens increase children’s cognitive and social skills, which are critical for their future learning,” Tanya Chapuisat,  UNICEF Jordan representative, was quoted in the statement as saying.

“UNICEF is working closely with the Government so that every child can have the best start to their education,” Chapuisat added.

The Government of Jordan has made an ambitious commitment to universalise KG-2 to provide every child with access to early education. As part of this effort, UNICEF is supporting the opening of KG classrooms in community-based centres, like the one inaugurated in Tafileh, as well as supporting the Ministry of Education to expand access in the public system, the statement said.

In addition to the increase in the number of places available, UNICEF is implementing an innovative cash-transfer programme for families in the most vulnerable districts to enable them to enroll their children in KG2.

Evidence from a diverse range of countries is conclusive that investing in early childhood development is an extremely effective and cost-efficient way of accelerating progress for children, their communities and societies more generally, according to the statement.

UNICEF’s support for quality and inclusive education is generously supported by the governments of Australia, Canada, Germany through KfW and Ireland,as well as the UK Department for International Development and US State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, the statement concluded.

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