In Chile, on 24 April 2012, the official launch will take place in the Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación (UMCE). The event will include the participation of Daniela Eroles, Technical Assistant for the Inclusive Education and Educational Innovations Area, and Atilio Pizarro Section Chief for Planning, Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, both from the Regional Bureau of Education for Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago).
Also, activities such as “The Great Image” will take place, which is a large collage that integrates drawings from children and adults on the “Right to Early Care and Education”. Other activities include debates, round tables and community actions with social organizations. The celebrations will also have a presentation and distribution of the Regional Monitoring Report toward Education for All in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2012, developed by OREALC/UNESCO Santiago.
Children are entitled to rights from the moment of birth, including the right to education, and these rights must be guaranteed and respected by the state and by society. With the motto “Rights from the Start! Early Childhood Care and Education Now!”, this event hopes to reemphasize the importance of early childhood care and education (ECCE).
In that sense, Atilio Pizarro explained that “the quality of the attention and care in early childhood is still low in the region, especially in vulnerable sectors and populations”. He added that Latin America and the Caribbean “have done efforts to improve the curricula, provide materials and in defining standards to evaluate the quality of services and programmes, but still lack a consensus on the quality focus, or of an integral indicator system to evaluate the quality of the programmes and services, considering the areas to be attended”.
2015 is only three years away, bringing forward the deadline for achieving the goals of Education for All. With that in mind, in 2012 the Campaign for Education will centre its activities on defending the right to education during early childhood, which goes from birth to 6 years of age.
In 1990, the Jomtien Declaration on Education for All made it clear that education starts at birth. Ten years later, the Dakar Framework for Action reaffirmed this statement, and 180 world leaders ratified their commitment to the objectives of Education for All – the first of which is to extend early childhood care and education.
In the words of René Varas, the Executive Secretary of the Chilean National Forum on Quality Education for All, “in recent years, Latin America and the Caribbean have made significant advances in primary school attendance rates, but that there are still challenges pending in ECCE – a key area in order to provide dignified living conditions and the fullest possible development of the human personality”.
Global Action Week is an activity organized by the Campaign for Education, a worldwide partnership of NGOs and teaching unions. It is celebrated in more than 150 countries, in order to raise public awareness of the EFA movement. UNESCO has provided active support for Global Action Week since its creation, and encourages its partners and networks to organize and participate in activities.
Varas explains that “this is a week for teachers and educators, parents, and children to have their say and to draw up proposals to guarantee the right to education from birth. These are vital issues in Chile, where only a minority of the population has access to formal education before entry into primary schooling, and where the state must make good on the commitment that it took on at the World Education Forum”.
For more information on events, please visit:
• educacionparatodos.cl/ (in Spanish)
• Global Action Week website
• Contact your national Campaign for Education coalition
• The right to ECCE
• Information on Early Childhood
• 2012 Regional Monitoring Report on Progress towards Education for All in Latin America and the Caribbean