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Press Centre (6/2013)

New Directions In Early Childhood Education in Turkey: ''Quality, Access And Equity'' International Conference Has Shed Light For Early Education in Turkey


Ministry of National Education which has conducted profound studies since 2010 for expansion of Early Childhood Education (ECE) in Turkey and increased the quality of services hosted an international conference for sharing international experiences in this area and formation of a platform for quality of ECE services in Turkey. Several important regulations related to ECE services in Turkey including quality standards have been discussed in New Directions In Early Childhood Education in Turkey: ''Quality, Access And Equity'' International Conference on 18-19 June 2013 at Swiss Hotel, Ankara.

QUALITY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION IS THE RIGHT OF EVERY CHILD

A number of researches prove that quality interventions in early childhood development decreases the effects of poverty on children, families, women, societies and communuties and quench the inequalities. MoNE, General Directorate of Basic Education is implementing ‘’Strengthening Pre-School Education’’ project for inclusion of 36-66 months children in early education and for improving quality in ECE.

The Project has been implemented by the MoNE with technical support of UNICEF and financial support of EU and it aims to provide quality ECE for disadvantaged children and families and to strengthen the quality of present services by improving the capacity of MoNE institutions, public institutions, municipalities and NGOs via partnership mechanisms.

One of the important studies conducted within the framework of project has been the international conference which took place in Ankara on 18-19 June 2013:  New Directions In Early Childhood Education in Turkey: ‘’Quality, Access And Equity’’. The conference aims to contribute in reinforcement of political determination and cross-sectoral cooperation in improving ECE quality framework for all children and  on equity basis by providing universal access.  Both national and international experts had the opportunity to discuss quality, Access and equity in ECE services and tos hare their experiences.

During the opening speeches, Mr. Muhsin Altun, The President of Central Finance and Contracts Unit, indicated that the project contributed in raising awareness and strenthening the capacity in pre-school education.

Mr. Javier Menendez Bonilla, Head of Section in European Union Delegation to Turkey Financial Cooperation, Infrastructural, Social and Regional Projects, underlined that the target of the EU in early childhood education is 95% and he is very pleased with the increase of pre-school education rate in Turkey in recent years.

Mrs. Regina De Dominics, UNICEF Deputy Representative said: ‘’ Even though our project finishes in October, it leaves a legacy behind for early childhood education and development. Local sharers and families will continue to play a key role in pre-school education.’’

Mrs. Funda Kocabıyık, Basic Education General Director,  emphasized the importance of equity in pre-school education, and noted the importance of early childhood education in the happiness, peace and success of disadvantaged children and its role in enabling these children to create an added value to society.

The activities on the quality standards of Early Child Education in Turkey along side with international experineces have been discussed during two days.  Moreover, the nation-wide expansion of quality ECE with capacity improvement studies in elevant services, partnerships and alternative models have been presented.  National and international experts shared their experiences in development of quality standards, definitions and licensing systems.

Decision-makers, local authorities, NGOs, academicians, practitioners, international and national institutions and research institutions also paerticipated in the sessions on the creation of quality framework in ECE and beter conditions for ECE practitioners.

The international conference has contributed in the sustainability of Strengthening of Pre-school Education Project results and invagorated broaden the vision about quality in ECE in Turkey. 

UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org