11/18/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/18/2022 10:57
Research in neurosciences and social sciences shows that 85% of brain development takes place in the first 5 years of life. In particular, the first 3 years of life is vital to awaken children's potential. To call attention to this important phase of a child's development and to renew commitments to early childhood care and education, over 2,500 participants from 147 countries gathered at the World Conference, including heads of states, ministers, educators and experts.
The conference's final document, the Tashkent Declaration, adopted by countries on the last day of the conference, reaffirms the right of all children to pre-primary education and further calls for greater attention to environmental education to ensure that awareness of climate change and sustainable development starts in the early years.
He urged that early childhood education be included as a main topic of the UN's Summit for the Future in 2024.
A UNESCO report prepared for the conference showed that globally, participation in pre-primary education has grown significantly over the past ten years, increasing from 46% in 2010 to 61% in 2020. However, participation rate is barely 20% in low-income countries, while budget allocation to pre-primary education in these countries stands at 2% of total education budgets. Today, 1 out of 4 young children under 5 never had any form for pre-primary education, which represents 33 million out of 134 million.
One of the obstacles is the lack of qualified pre-primary teachers and caregivers. UNESCO estimates that another 9.3 million full-time educators are needed to make pre-primary education universal by 2030. Other challenges include policy fragmentation and lack of public provision.
In 2023, UNESCO will work with its partners to define the first international standards for the professional certification of early childhood educators, like those that already exist for primary and secondary teachers. To keep the momentum of the Conference, it will also collaborate with partners, including UNICEF and the World Bank, to publish a global report on early childhood every two years, to inform public policies.
The World Conference was organized by UNESCO and hosted by the Government of Uzbekistan.