On 11 November 2021, the KIX EAP Hub organised its 10th webinar in collaboration with UNICEF and GPE’s Better Early Learning and Development at Scale (BELDS), an innovative partnership and knowledge initiative for integrating early child education (ECE) in sectoral planning. The webinar was attended by 202 people from approximately 48 countries. This webinar demonstrated the dire need to prioritise quality early childhood education through systems-level solutions with sustainability and capacity development at its core. The webinar was conducted in English with simultaneous interpretation into Russian and Arabic.
The webinar was organised into 2 components. First, Ghazala Syed (BELDS KIX Project coordinator, UNICEF) and Joa Keis (ECE Specialist, UNICEF) gave an overview of the BELDS approach to strengthening ECE through Education Sector Planning (ESP) processes. In this regard, the ECE Accelerator Toolkit, a global e-toolkit, is designed to support countries in their efforts towards including ECE in ESP processes. Currently, there are 5 countries engaged in the BELDS KIX initiative through the use of the ECE Accelerator Toolkit: Kyrgyz Republic, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, and South Sudan.
The second segment of the webinar highlighted three countries’ (Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyz Republic) experiences with implementing the KIX BELDS project. Massey Tucker (Education Officer, UNICEF Sierra Leone) shared Sierra Leone’s journey, lessons learned and the need to take a harmonised approach involving both government and civil society actors during the development process of the ECE sub-sector plan. Jamshed Kurbonov (Education Officer, UNICEF Tajikistan and KIX EAP Steering Committee Member) discussed the effectiveness of the ECE toolkit in integrating ECE subsectors systematically into ESP processes and informing the decision-making processes. Lastly, Chinargul Dzhumagulova (Early Childhood Development Officer, UNICEF Kyrgyzstan and KIX EAP Steering Committee Member) presented on the formal integration of BELDS under the Kyrgyzstan Ministry of Education and Science to develop a strategy for the Development of Education 2040, and an Action Plan for 2021-2023 using the BELDS tools.
Throughout the webinar, highly engaged participants expressed their interests in utilising the Accelerator Toolkit in the development and implementation of their ECE sub-sector plans as part of their countries’ ESPs. Some raised pertinent issues regarding the need to ensure that the ECE services that are integrated are inclusive, gender-responsive, and also offer alternative models to support vulnerable children and marginalised groups.
Please find the webinar slides and additional information here.
Register for KIX EAP updates and to receive our quarterly newsletter.