The National Workshop to Determine the Strategic Priorities for the Improvement of the Early Childhood System in Jordan for 2022-2024
The Dead Sea, November 23 (Petra) - The work of the National Meeting for National Priorities Action on Early Childhood, organized by the National Council for Family Affairs and the International Relief Committee, has begun in the Dead Sea.
Dr. Muhammad Miqdadi, the Secretary-General of the National Council for Family Affairs, during the opening of the meeting and in the presence of the Director-General of the Jordan Office of the International Committee for Relief, the Honorable Surra Bint Ghazi, and with wide participation from all national, governmental and international institutions concerned with childhood, stated that the concept of organized early childhood care services was introduced in Jordan at the beginning of the fifties of the last century.
He added, that the center of attention in early childhood development expanded after a national symposium on early childhood education held in 1993, which issued the National Action Plan for Childhood 1993-2000, and a national study conducted three years after the symposium. He pointed out that the concept of organized early childhood care services was introduced in Jordan at the beginning of the fifties, and services gradually expanded with the spread of awareness about the growing needs and requirements of working mothers.
In 1999, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah commissioned a specialized team to develop a strategy for early childhood development aimed at providing balanced and comprehensive development through agencies working on implementation, coordination, and development of family and community awareness of issues related to childhood, noting that the National Council for Family Affairs was assigned the task of following up and implementing the strategy in cooperation with its partners in the field of early childhood.
Miqdadi stated that governments and society have realized the critical importance of investing in the early years of a child's life in 2015, and the inclusion of early childhood development within the sustainable development goals, based on previous efforts that led to the inclusion of early childhood development in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that every child has the right to develop to the maximum extent possible.
He added that there are 250 million children under the age of five in low- and middle-income countries vulnerable to not achieving their development potential due to extreme poverty and stunted growth. In a measurement of 27 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, only 0.01 percent of GDP was spent on pre-primary education in 2012.
He noted that the nutritional deficiency in early childhood leads to stunted growth, which affects approximately one in four children under the age of five around the world, and the associated risks may lead to poverty, such as undernutrition, poor hygiene, developmental delays, and difficulty in academic attainment.
Mai Sultan, the Director of the Childhood Directorate in the Council, in turn, discussed the national efforts of the early childhood sector in Jordan, indicating that the National Team for Early Childhood Development has developed a comprehensive strategic document for early childhood development that responds to the needs of children and achieves their maximum potential for growth and development. The team began implementing the strategy through a five-year work plan (2003-2007) and a second action plan (2011-2015) in cooperation with national and other stakeholders to develop a framework to achieve the goals of the strategy and to ensure that the early childhood development vision is aligned with national priorities and financial and development plans, and the plan's compatibility with the Education Reform Framework for a Knowledge Economy was emphasized.
She added that the national strategy for human resources development 2016-2025 included the axis of early education and childhood development and the axis of basic education, as the strategy monitored desired results at the level of the Kingdom, children, employers, teachers, caregivers, health workers, and for the community.
Mahmoud Al-Jbour, Assistant Secretary-General for Technical Affairs at the Ministry of Social Development, in his view, indicated the programs and plans implemented by the Ministry to enhance the early childhood strategy in terms of strengthening and expanding the scope of social protection systems in the field of early childhood and improving protection and care services for cases of gender-based violence (GBV).
He also pointed to the main achievements that have been achieved in terms of improving response services for child laborers and beggars, integrating 385 children into alternative caring families, Institutionalizing Violence Prevention Programs against children and An Early Intervention Program for children with disabilities, improving social services, developing an electronic licensing system for nurseries, approving the Professional and Technical Skills Development Center to practice the profession for caregivers in nurseries and issuing instructions regarding home nurseries.