Towards quality ECCD
The facilitators at the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) had no job status till now and they were neither on contract nor on regular. They were not having any entitlement benefit till now.
During the recent ECCD week held in Thimphu the question of their employment status and their entitlement was raised to the officials of the Ministry of Education. The Education officials ensured the ECCD facilitators that the ministry had been in discussion with the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) for the entitlement and other beneficiaries for ECCD facilitators.
The official informed that RCSC had accepted their request to regularize them and the entitlement and benefits will follow automatically.
Further the question of maternity leave was also raised, for them as only 45 days of maternity leave is granted to them now.
The Minister for Education while visiting schools around the country had a chance to visit ECCD centre and found out the challenges faced by the facilitators.
The Minister said that the government is in discussion with the RCSC for the entitlement. But for the maternity leave, it’s been practiced as that of civil servant and was hopeful that the facilitators will also get same duration of maternity leave like that of civil servants.
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 Ministry of Education has been 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.
As our ECCD facilitators plays an important role in shaping the future of our child we must ensure that they are paid well for it will have a huge implication in the life of every Bhutanese child.