Key representatives of the UNESCO-IBE and Dubai Cares joint project on "Building Resilient and Sustainable Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Systems". Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: After four years of fruitful partnership, UNESCO-IBE and Dubai Cares, officially closed their collaborative project “Building Resilient and Sustainable Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Systems”.

A special conference that was held at the Dubai Cares’ Pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai this past week for the purpose was attended by ministers, curriculum experts and civil society representatives from the corresponding countries. They presented six resource packs (ECCE series), three of which were created jointly with the member states involved in the project, namely Eswatini, Lao PDR and Cameroon. These resource packs aim to provide a concrete support to policymakers, field professionals and inspectors in designing an effective ECCE system.

Speakers at the conference included Al Anood Al Abdool, Deputy Director of Foreign Assistance at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Lady Howard Mabuza, Minister of Education and Training (Eswatini), Guillaume Hawing, Minister of Pre-University Education and Literacy (Guinea), and Künzle Hans Rainer, CEO of Green Leaves Foundation.

In order to support the 2030 Agenda for Education, UNESCO-IBE and Dubai Cares joined forces in 2017 to ensure quality and holistic ECCE through the promotion of an operational, multi-sectoral and integrated system in each country. This partnership aims to strengthen the capacity of member states to develop, implement and maintain resilient and sustainable ECCE systems in order to give children a good start in life and provide them with the opportunity to develop holistically.

Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares, said: “Providing quality Early Childhood Care and Education ‘ECCE’ plays a key role in effective lifelong learning. Enhancing ECCE cannot be achieved without resilient and sustainable ECCE systems. Therefore, collaboration between global stakeholders is vital to the long-term sustainability and success of high-quality ECCE services in order to accelerate the scale-up of policies and increase the overall share of budgetary allocations.”

He added: “This conference marks a milestone for our partnership with the UNESCO-IBE, as it has resulted in providing much-needed guidance and support to ensure the effective implementation of Early Childhood Care and Education systems. Early Childhood Development has always been one of the priorities for Dubai Cares. In fact, Dubai Cares launched the Dubai Declaration on Early Childhood Development together with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and UNICEF to affirm the global commitment to advance early childhood and provide the very best start in life for all children, especially those who are particularly marginalised.”