Regional consultation on “Acting towards a Transformative and Forward-looking ECCE Curriculum for Lifelong Learning”

الرعاية والتربية في مرحلة الطفولة المبكرة
2022 - 10 - 20
In preparation of the World Congress on Early Childhood Care and Education (WCECCE) to be held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 14-16 November 2022, UNESCO’s International Bureau of Education (IBE) and UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States (UNESCO Beirut) jointly conducted a regional consultation for the Arab States on 22 September 2022. Specialized in curriculum, UNESCO IBE has been mandated to conduct regional consultations on the issue of ECCE curriculum and learning, as an essential foundation for successful lifelong learning.

    The Regional consultation with Arab States representatives and ECCE experts aimed at taking stock of current achievements, challenges and prospects in regard achieving SDG4.2 in the Arab Region with a focus on the role of curriculum and learning. Participants exchanged on key enablers of quality learning and curricula in ECCE, from the perspective of research and other evidence, such as through identifying promising practices that have a potential of being scaled up.

    Below are some of the main outcomes of the consultation that will inform the Global Report on ECCE in preparation, as well as some of the upcoming session of the WCECCE2022 Agenda:

    • Pro-actively investing in ECCE means investing in the future. Future learning achievements, including academic achievement, should be prepared based on sound curricula and learning in early years.
    • As neurosciences show (Dr. Chloé Farrer), the interdependent development of skills depends on early foundations, such as basic skills. For instance, achievements in learning depend on early language acquisitions, including vocabulary, as well as on the social interactions young learners experience in the context of informal and formal learning. ECCE contributes also to other important cognitive foundations of learning through the development of attention, motivation and memory, as well as the development of important social and emotional skills, such as following rules, inhibiting undesirable behaviors, managing emotions and playing/learning with the others. Neurosciences should be equally looked at from the perspectives of their potential in combating “neuromyths”, such as the one claiming that some stimuli are more important than others, depending on the learning styles (for which there is actually no evidence).
    • ECCE curriculum, in addition to contributing to foundational skills, equips leaners with values and goals that support their character development and empower them to become moral persons and responsible citizens (Dr. Paul Leseman). While there are usually only few curriculum guidelines, especially for age 0-3, such guidelines are important for combining instruction with playing from a child-based perspective. ECCE is the stage where healthy social relationships can be forged, which are essential in the transition to academic achievement.
    • ECCE curricula and pedagogy need to include parents, so that the family can support young children’s learning based on a shared understanding of how children learn and what makes their learning sustainable.
    • While ECCE is usually provided by state and non-state actors, it is essential that central inter-ministerial committees work towards defining standards for ECCE curricula and pedagogy (Mrs. Ann Therese Ndong Jatta). ECCE curricula and pedagogy should become an integral part of developing and implementing National Curriculum Frameworks for K-12.
    • Promising practices should be widely shared, and one should build upon (Dr. Albulsalam Aljoufi). For instance, Palestine developed a General Framework for ECCE that is emphasizing five areas of learning (i.e. learning through play, developing motor skills, early literacy, numeracy and social-emotional learning) with a view of enhancing enrollment and quality of learning for all (Mr. Sadiq Al-Khudour). The U.A.E. ECCE curriculum is part of the learning continuum from birth to grade 4 (0-8 years) that envisions children as active learners (“Future generation” curriculum, Mrs. Sameera Al Hosani). ECCE curricula are designed to support child development stages by laying strong foundations based on clear goals and effective learning enablers. U.A.E. introduced a first national curriculum in ECCE under the coordination of a new federal authority for ECCE.
    • As ECCE programme has now gained momentum, it is important to improve partnerships and synergies with a view to bolster success factors based on cost-effective, inclusive and sustainable strategies (Mrs. Maysoun Chehab). The ECCE quality needs to be enhanced through appropriate skills development, child-centered pedagogies, new topics to be introduced and the close collaboration with families and other stakeholders.
    • ECCE curricula should be evidence-based, inclusive and contextualized (Mrs. Aurélia Rabe) so that they become a strong foundation for lifelong learning from the early stages of life.

    Relevant links:



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