Pre-school education is in danger of retreating
Before 2020, pre-school education did not exist in Papua New Guinea.
UNICEF aims to close a deep education gap through continued advocacy efforts and protective measures against COVID-19 to ensure toddlers have the opportunity to go to school. nursery school. Early learning promotes literacy and life skills, giving young children the best start in primary school.
As part of the success of UNICEF’s efforts, early learning has become a recognized part of PNG’s national education system in 2020. Enrollment and retention rates of primary school students have increased in parts of the PNG where children had access to early childhood development experience.
But this progress is now under threat.
“When we had the lockdown due to COVID-19,
some children went home and were afraid to come back after we closed school for a month.”
The global pandemic has created unforeseen challenges and disruptions to a child’s access to quality education, health, nutrition and well-being. Rebecca saw these challenges in her own class in PNG. Of her class of 24 children, only 15 returned after the lockdown forced schools to close in the first year of the pandemic.
“These children have a great interest in coming to school,” explains Rebecca.
“But when we had the lockdown because of COVID-19, some kids went home and were afraid to come back after we closed school for a month.”