Despite the steady expansion in Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) centres over the last few years, the need to establish such services are seen as critical in certain areas.
During the meet the press session last week the prime minister, Dasho Tshering Tobgay, said children in rural villages lacked the privilege of having nearby schools and as a result faced a difficult start to education. They also suffered from malnourishment and stunting. In the urban areas too, most children at home are found engaged in phones and other devices.
But one of the main areas that needed ECCD centres is children of the national workforce (NWF) workers. “They face specific problems as the camps are dispersed and because of where the camps are located it is difficult to establish the ECCD centers since it is very expensive,” the prime minister said.
Now the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS) has identified 12 strategic points where they will establish camps to maintain the widened east west highway. “The government is planning to establish ECCD centers at each strategic point,” the prime minister said. “This would solve the problems for the pre-school children of national road workers.”
The education minister Norbu Wangchuk said the government is planning to expand coverage of ECCD centers by establishing one ECCD centre in each chiwog in the next five to six years. “The challenge is mainly due to the scattered settlement,” he said.
“Learning outcome is not a consequence of what happens in school, most times it is consequences of what happens beyond schools and classrooms” the minister said adding that the child’s brain development is most phenomenal from the age of being conceived to the age of eight. “Science has confirmed that what happens between this age ranges remains irreversible.”