Ministry of Education continues its focus on Early Childhood Print E-mail
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Friday, 17 May 2019 00:00

A two-day education conference of the Ministry of Education, which focused on early childhood development (ECD) concluded on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 in San Ignacio. During the two days of sessions, experts and stakeholders in early childhood development focused on areas of care, tracking and screening of children, and assisting those living with disabilities. The team also looked at implementing a child tracking system with the goal of gathering data from several ministries which all focus on the issues affecting children.

An ECD Consultant, Juan-Carlos Reyes says that by integrating these data systems across the relevant sectors and ministries, Belize will be able to individually track children, an important step being taken by many other countries. This will also allow for better collaborative efforts and efficient and effective development improvements. Somehow, health issues could benefit from educational settings or educational services and the other way around. So moving in that direction will not only allow for sectors and services to work better, but also to strengthen collaborative efforts.

One partner of the Individual Child Tracking Systems (ICTS), which is an intersectoral effort, is UNICEF, who has recognized its contribution in the development of women and children in Belize. They also participated in the conference as a major stakeholder having provided support to the government. They have dedicated financial resources and also acquired the necessary human and technical resources to support the government in the sectors of education, health, and human development. Denise Robateau, UNICEF, says that UNICEF has also worked along with the early childhood development technical working group in developing the early childhood development strategic plan as well as a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan.

Line ministries such as the Ministry of Health, Human Development and Social Transformation along with the MOE have collaborated to see the implementation of the ‘Comprehensive Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Plan for the Early Childhood Development Policy.’ M&E is undoubtedly an extremely important element of the intersectoral commitment to create better quality of life for our children. To do so, we must be able to track the growth and development of our children and in response address their needs so as to make a positive impact on their future lives.