23 March 2009
Global and regional education experts met at a sub-regional workshop in Tashkent today to develop an implementation plan for Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS) for young children in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.
'For children to reach their full potential, the family home, schools and kindergartens must be positive learning places. Making this is a reality is what the ELDS sub-regional workshop is all about' said Andro Shilakadze, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Uzbekistan.
Workshop participants included leading Government education specialists from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. The event is facilitated by an internationally recognized expert from the USA's Columbia University, Mrs. Sharon Lynn Kagan.
Young children develop and learn in an integrated manner, so early learning and development standards are uniquely holistic, they reflect multiple areas of development, such as language, social, emotional, physical, and cognition.
In practice, the ELDS form the basis for what children are taught (the curriculum), how their learning is planned and assessed and how teachers are deemed competent to teach young children (teacher training curricula and teacher certification standards). They include specific and measurable tools to help adults gauge children's progress. ELDS also offers guidelines to parents and caregivers in the home, in recognition that learning occurs everywhere.
Culture and context exert strong influence on young children's development, so the ELDS are grounded in the values of families and countries as well as being fully rooted in the science of child development.
ELDS also offer countries consensus about learning and development essentials through paying close attention to national values. As such, these learning and development essentials can provide a common base for a series of educational efforts because they share the same vision of childhood and the same expectations for children's development.