If We Start Strong, We Cannot Go Wrong

24 February 2011 |

February 24, 2011 -- The Vice President, Mr. Danny Faure opened the National Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Conference, at the Constance Ephelia Resort this week.

The theme chosen for the national conference  is "Starting Strong - Winning for Children." 

The Vice President spoke of the importance of maximizing effort, commitment and dedication in ensuring that the education, health and social aspects of the lives of children from 0 - 7 years are effectively addressed. 

"It is our country's goal to ensure that every child has access to complete and comprehensive education from the day they are born to the day they start a career.  For ten years out of this period, education is free and compulsory," he said.  

Vice President Faure reiterated his firm commitment made at the UNESCO World Conference in Moscow barely 5 months ago, to strengthen and take the Seychelles national early childhood care and education programme further.

"It is and as part of our country's commitment to the Moscow Framework for Action and Cooperation and already we have started with an initiative to review our current ECCE policies and to develop a national framework and coordination and enforcement mechanisms, that will guarantee the successful implementation of programmes and services for our young children from 0 to 7+ years," said Vice-President Faure.

In the process of developing of our national framework, the government has identified the gaps that need to be addressed.

"We have decided to give priority to early childhood programmes and to sustain such programmes, we are strengthening our public and private partnership in order to take innovative and decisive actions in mobilising diverse financing sources."

Vice President Faure also spoke on the importance of building capacity in the human resources working in ECCE field. 

"We will be putting a lot of focus on empowering our early childhood teachers and care givers because we realise that a sensitive, responsive and well trained staff at this level is one of the strongest predictors of high quality early learning programmes."                                                                 

The conference was held to validate the  National ECCE Framework, entitled "Winning for children: A Shared Commitment", which has been developed by a high level committee comprising stakeholders from all sectors involved with ECCE. Presentations from Dr. Mmantsetsa Marope from UNESCO with an overall global outlook and Dr. Sharon Lynn Kagan from Columbia University in USA with a strong American perspective and vast experience in developing countries of Asia and Africa and Latin America, assisted delegates in their deliberations. Recommendations from the conference will be used to finalise the policy document which will embody the commitment of the government to implement a holistic, comprehensive and integrated ECCE system.  

Notes from the forum:
- In Seychelles, gross enrolment rate in pre-primary education is above 100% 
- 12 out of 1000 was the under-five mortality rate in 2008. 
- Seychelles has achieved most of the Millennium Development Goals.  
- Education has been allocated 24.8% in the  2011 national budget
- Health received 25.7% of the overall national budget.  

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