Cambodia participated in the launch of the Global Partnership Strategy for Early Childhood
H.E. Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport of Cambodia, participated in the online launch of the Global Partnership Strategy (GPS) for Early Childhood organized by UNESCO on 6th December 2021. He was joined by Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, UNESCO’s Special Envoy, Ms. Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, Ministers of Education from Argentina, Benin, Cambodia, Canada, Cuba, France, Italia, Liberia, Mauritius, Morocco, the People’s Republic of China, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sweden, Tunisia, Uruguay and Uzbekistan, as well as representatives from UN agencies, development partners and other education stakeholders.
The Global Partnership Strategy (GPS) for Early Childhood is an initiative created by UNESCO and its partners in response to a gap in services ranging from pre-primary education to health, nutrition, sanitation and child protection worldwide. The GPS is an approach to address the gap and ensure quality early childhood education for all children, leaving no child behind. The overall goal and vision of the GPS is to ensure that early childhood care and education (ECCE), early childhood development (ECD), and early childhood investment (ECI) services are fully inclusive, accessible, affordable, gender-sensitive, and equitable for every child. Implementing effective ECCE, ECD, and ECI policies and services enables countries to protect and ensure the rights of every child. It also maximizes the return on investment in child and family development, transforms society and builds better communities.
In his intervention during the Ministerial segment of the event, H.E. Dr. Hang Chuon Naron expressed “sincere gratitude to UNESCO for organizing this important event and for involving him in the preparation of the GPS”. He highlighted the “significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which has curtailed the progress on early childhood targets of the SDGs and has adversely affected our young children who are already at a disadvantage even during before the pandemic”. He emphasized the importance of early childhood care and education and prioritizing safety of teachers and students. He added that “Cambodia is fully committed to translate GPS into programmes and actions and called for collective country action to implement GPS and to increase investments in early childhood care and education”.
The GPS online launch followed a series of activities including international webinar on “Ensuring the quality of learning and wellbeing for young children in the context of the COVID-19”, inception meeting with development partners and country representatives to envision and plan the way forward for GPS development, and a technical session to gain insights from a diverse group of about 600 officials and experts from around the world and to discuss the key components of the GPS. A global conference on ECCE is planned to be held in 2022.
The UNESCO report may be found here: Global Partnership Strategy for Early Childhood. It reiterates the importance of countries’ efforts toward early childhood activities and commitments to achieve Target 4.2.