A photo of the conference (Source: dangcongsan.vn)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - International and domestic delegates are discussing and identifying solutions to ensure a high-quality, comprehensive approach to early childhood care, education and development at a two-day conference launched in Hanoi on June 12.

The International Conference on Early Childhood Education with the theme “Ensuring access of all children to quality early childhood education and school readiness”, jointly organised by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), the World Bank and the UNICEF, has attracted 290 participants from 11 countries including the US, Singapore, China, Australia, India, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Laos.

Speaking at the conference, Vietnamese Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha said that early childhood education (ECE) lays the first bricks for the physical, intellectual and emotional development of children.

Fully aware of the importance of ECE, the Party and the State have paid particular attention to ECE and in recent years, issuing many ECE policies, said Nha.

Minister Nha expressed gratitude for the support from the World Bank, UNICEF, UNESCO and other non-governmental organisations for ECE development in Vietnam.

During the conference, speakers presented discussion papers on key ECE issues in the world and the region such as early childhood development and education policies and programmes, quality assurance conditions and inter-agency co-ordination.

Many Vietnamese and international experts shared experiences and practices related to the implementation of ECE in general and the enhancement of school readiness for children in particular.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil, Representative of UNICEF in Vietnam, said, “Investing in ECE is one of the most effective investments to ensure Vietnam’s sustainable development”.

“Early interventions for young children help them achieve more success when they reach primary school and it improves their health and over all development. As adults, they will have better employment and higher earnings, better health, and they are less likely to depend on welfare,” he said.

Ousmane Dione, Country Director of the World Bank in Vietnam, said that Vietnam is strongly committed to education development.

“Through the universal early childhood education programme for five-year-old children, Vietnam has ensured the right to at least one year pre-primary education for children, which is continued with primary and secondary education. However, we need to be more ambitious and should state that the right to education, just simply by sitting in the classrooms, is not enough. Education should be high quality to ensure that children can really learn,” he said.-VNA