ArmInfo.In Armenia, more than 171,000 children under the age of 5 do not attend kindergarten, being part of the 175 million children in the world who have not received pre- school education.
This was stated by Alvard Poghosyan, a specialist in education and early child development, presenting Armenia's figures, published in a UNICEF report.In its new report, UNICEF warns that the shortage of pre-school education was due to a lack of investment and, in fact, from the earliest years, these children suffer from deep-seated inequality.
Children enrolled in preschool education, more than twice as fast master initial literacy and numeracy skills than children who did not receive it.In low-income countries, which includes Armenia, only 1 in 5 children attend pre-school education.
"In low-income countries only 2 out of 10 children go to kindergarten, the same indicator is registered in rural areas of Armenia. Despite the fact that the situation in the cities of Armenia is comparatively better, however, only 4 out of 10 children attend kindergartens, "Pogosyan noted.
According to the report, children whose mothers received a secondary or higher education, the probability of enrollment in pre-school education programs is almost five times higher than children whose mothers either received only primary education or do not have any formal education at all.According to the latest data of the Statistics Committee of the Republic of Armenia, the main reasons for refusing to attend kindergarten are the unemployed mother of a child.- 53%, absence of kindergarten - 28%, high cost of stay in kindergartens - 4%."In Armenia, 9.8% of residents living in extreme poverty answered that the nearest pre-school institution is more than 10 km away, which is beyond their means," Pogosyan explained.
As noted in the report, the main factors affecting the attendance of a preschool institution are household welfare, the educational level of the mother, and geographic location. At the same time, poverty remains the single most important determinant."If current governments want their countries to be competitive in tomorrow's economy, they need to start with pre-school education," said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Foret. "If we are going to give our children a good start in life so that they will be successful in a globalized economy, state leaders should prioritize pre-school education and allocate sufficient resources for it".
UNICEF urges governments to make at least one year universal high-quality pre-school education, turning it into a regular component of education for each child, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized children.In order to put this into practice, UNICEF urges governments to commit themselves to allocating at least 10 percent in national education budgets for expanding pre-primary education and investing in teachers, quality standards and equitable expansion of educational opportunities.