ACEI has an active network of Country Liaisons who inform ACEI about education policies and activities in their respective countries. Country Liaisons report information and events as experienced by them in their communities and within their nations; therefore, these reports share the unique perspectives and opinions of Country Liaisons, which may vary from official reports about education in their nations. Here are some highlights from three of our country liaisons; please watch the ACEI Exchange and the ACEI News section of our website for additional updates.
Country Liaison Mahmuda Akhter submitted a report on early childhood development and education in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has expressed a strong commitment to ensuring education for young children by ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). The country has also pledged to reach the World Declaration on Education for All early childhood care and education goal for "expanding and improving early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children." Bangladesh's National Education Policy 2010 includes pre-primary education (PPE) as the first component of primary education and defines PPE as one year of education for children age 5+ prior to entering grade 1 of primary school.
In her report, Akhter also identified many agencies and organizations that are working to improve childhood education in her country, and included a timeline of major childhood education legislation. Highlights from 2013 include:
Guidelines on governmental agency and NGO collaboration for universal pre-primary education, approved by the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education
Comprehensive Early Childhood Care and Development Policy approved by the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs
In her report, ACEI Country Liaison Wanda Boyer highlighted two initiatives for language development and revitalization in Canada.
With the support of the First People's Culture Council and the Aboriginal Special Projects Fund of the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, an award-winning and accessible Certificate in Aboriginal Language Revitalization is being offered by the University of Victoria's Department of Linguistics and the Division of Continuing Studies in partnership with the En'owkin Center. Participants in this program come from across British Columbia, Nunavut, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories of Canada. The program "is designed to honor traditional knowledge and practices, to recognize and accommodate the realities and needs of diverse communities, and to provide a foundation for language revitalization activities for further study in education, linguistics, or other related areas." Learn more about that program here.
Boyer describes progress for early childhood development in Official Language Minority Communities via an action plan that outlines the goals of promoting awareness of early childhood development and strengthening access to programs and services in official language minority communities in Canada.
Country Liaison Sapna Thapa reported on the state of education in Nepal.
In response to news that children in the remote village Dingjyo do not have access to education, the Nepali Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has decided to investigate the irregularities plaguing the country's education system. While the government has been spending millions of rupees to promote literacy, there seem to be discrepancies in terms of access and equity. Learn more here.
Thapa also highlighted some resources for learning more about education in Nepal:
Nepal Campaign for Education – Nepal is an independent NGO that advocates for quality education for all children. They recently initiated the Dream Learning Environment Campaign in collaboration with UNICEF. Learn more here.
Lunch for Nepal is a non-profit organization that is actively involved in promoting admissions and maintaining school attendance in remote, economically challenged village schools of rural Nepal. Learn more here.
As an individual, Thapa has worked to promote the Decade for Childhood and the 10 Pillars of a Good Childhood among policymakers and educational institutions in her country.
Multicultural Teaching in the Early Childhood Classroom