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Education minister stresses need to invest in early childhood development

By Maria Weldali - Dec 13,2022 - Last updated at Dec 13,2022

Minister of Education Azmi Mahafza and officials during the National Early Childhood Development Conference in Amman on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of NCFA)

AMMAN — Investing in early childhood development is a pillar of achieving a “sustainable narrative of human development”, Minister of Education Azmi Mahafza said on Tuesday.

Mahafza’s remarks came during the National Early Childhood Development (ECD) Conference, held in Amman. The conference highlighted the major challenges facing early childhood education and elaborated on the sector’s previous achievements.

The National ECD Conference is a two-day event that brings together government and private sector representatives, civil society leaders, experts and other relevant partners.

The conference’s goals align with the National Strategy for Human Resource Development, the Education Ministry’s strategic plan and the Economic Modernisation Vision, the minister said.

“Taking a proactive approach to early childhood development is certainly a wise investment for any country that aims to establish a solid human resource base,” he added.

Mahafza affirmed that the ministry, through its early childhood development policies, is pursuing “concrete steps” that can ultimately lead to human development.

The minister also pointed out to the need to drive economic development, broaden the base of participation in the provision of educational services and foster the integration of institutional networks.

Also during the conference, Secretary General of the National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA) Mohammad Miqdadi said that the Economic Modernisation Vision (EMV) attaches “great importance” to early childhood education and development. The EMV proposes several initiatives for curriculum development, and calls for the establishment of a dedicated council for early childhood development.

Miqdadi added that the NCFA, in cooperation with national institutions and international organisations, formed the National Early Childhood Development Team back in 2018.

Hamida Jahamah, Plan International Country director in Jordan, said that “this conference is the culmination of the efforts made in early childhood development”.

“It is critical to facilitate a synergy of efforts to come up with plans and programmes for early childhood development,” said Amal Ireifij, director general of the Royal Health Awareness Society.

 

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