ECCD fa­cil­i­ta­tors will now be reg­u­larised soon

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Sonam Pen­jor

Till now, the fa­cil­i­ta­tor of Early Child­hood Care and De­vel­op­ment (ECCD) had no job sta­tus. Nei­ther are they ap­pointed on con­tract or on reg­u­lar ba­sis. They are not el­i­gi­ble for en­ti­tle­ment as of now.

The ECCD fa­cil­i­ta­tor from Bumthang Dzongkhag Karma Dema raised this ques­tion for hav­ing any plan for them to re­cruit on reg­u­lar ba­sis in fu­ture to ed­u­ca­tion min­istry dur­ing the clos­ing of na­tional ECCD week last Fri­day.

In re­sponse to the ques­tion, Karma Yeshey, the Sec­re­tary of Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion said that the min­istry had been in dis­cus­sion with the Royal Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (RCSC) for their en­ti­tle­ments and other ben­e­fits.

The Sec­re­tary added that RCSC had ac­cepted their re­quest to reg­u­lar­ize them. Af­ter that, they will be get­ting all the en­ti­tle­ment ac­cord­ingly.

She also rose on the ma­ter­nity leave for them as of now they get 45-day of ma­ter­nity leave.

The min­is­ter for ed­u­ca­tion Norbu Wangchuk said that while vis­it­ing school around the coun­try he had a chance to visit ECCD cen­tre and found out the chal­lenges faced by the fa­cil­i­ta­tor. “The job of a fa­cil­i­ta­tor is not a cup of tea.”

He said that the gov­ern­ment is in dis­cus­sion with the RCSC for the en­ti­tle­ment. But for the ma­ter­nity leave, it’s been prac­ticed as the civil ser­vant.

“Hope that fa­cil­i­ta­tors will also get same du­ra­tion of ma­ter­nity leave,” Ly­onpo added.

Mean­while, the ECCD Week is or­ga­nized to high­light that early child­hood care and de­vel­op­ment as a shared re­spon­si­bil­ity. Ad­dress­ing all of chil­dren’s needs, en­tail en­sur­ing ap­pro­pri­ate nu­tri­tion, health care, pro­tec­tion, and social, emo­tional, and in­tel­lec­tual stim­u­la­tion.

Care, stim­u­la­tion, and pro­tec­tion in early child­hood lay the foun­da­tion for life-long growth and de­vel­op­ment. Rec­og­niz­ing this, the Na­tional Assem­bly Speaker Jigme Zangpo dur­ing the open­ing of the ECCD week last Mon­day said that the gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing and pro­mot­ing ac­cess and qual­ity of ECCD pro­grammes and ser­vices.

While Bhutan has made rapid and sub­stan­tial progress in pro­vid­ing qual­ity health care and ed­u­ca­tion to chil­dren

younger than eight years of age, there is more that needs to be done, par­tic­u­larly in strength­en­ing pro­grammes for early child­hood in an in­te­grated man­ner with ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion and con­tri­bu­tions by all rel­e­vant sec­tors.

The Speaker stressed that early child­hood care and de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes and ser­vices “max­i­mize pos­i­tive de­vel­op­men­tal po­ten­tials of chil­dren that would bring last­ing ben­e­fits to both in­di­vid­u­als and so­ci­ety” and “con­trib­ute to en­hanc­ing Gross Na­tional Hap­pi­ness. ”Con­sid­er­ing the com­plex­ity and the mul­ti­di­men­sional na­ture of care and de­vel­op­ment in early child­hood, he called on “all stake­hold­ers and ser­vice providers to work to­gether and build part­ner­ships with each other to max­i­mize the im­pact.”

Ac­cord­ing to the press re­lease from the min­istry of ed­u­ca­tion, in­vest­ing on qual­ity ECCD not only yields sav­ings but very high long-term re­sults. It re­sults in im­proved school readi­ness, which in turn leads to re­duced grade rep­e­ti­tion and drop-out rates, and bet­ter ed­u­ca­tional achieve­ment.

Such en­hanced learn­ing out­comes lead to in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity and em­ploy­ment, which in turn means higher tax re­turns. Early in­ter­ven­tion and preven­tion lead to im­proved health and well­be­ing, which means en­hanced pro­duc­tiv­ity and re­duced cost on health care.

Qual­ity ECCD means less un­em­ploy­ment, less crime, fewer im­pris­on­ments, re­duced de­pen­dence on wel­fare, and there­fore, re­duced social costs, stated the press re­lease.

For the first time in the his­tory of global de­vel­op­ment plan­ning, the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals (SDGs) have placed ECCD on the global de­vel­op­ment agenda. One of the SDG Tar­get stated that “By 2030 all girls and boys will have ac­cess to qual­ity early child­hood de­vel­op­ment, care, and pre-pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion so that they are ready for pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion.”

The Early Child­hood Care and De­vel­op­ment (ECCD) week was or­ga­nized by Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion with sup­port from UNICEF at Harmony youth vil­lage from 6-8 September with the theme “To­wards an in­te­grated ap­proach to early child­hood care and de­vel­op­ment” was in­au­gu­rated by Speaker of the Na­tional Assem­bly Jigme Zangpo along with the Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Norbu Wangchuk

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