A child’s first years stays with them for life. In PNG, few children are able to enrol in, let alone complete, early learning and similar challenges exist for primary school. Schools are often too far from remote villages or lack the resources for quality learning.
UNICEF is working to change this by supporting inclusive early childhood development (ECD) centres like this one in Morobe Province.
The classroom not only provides children with a quality education, but also the opportunity to grow and be healthy.
UNICEF ensures the centres are accessible and inclusive for children with disabilities through teacher training. Children are kept safe with regular screenings for illness and malnutrition, with treatment and referrals provided as needed. Screenings are also conducted to identify disabilities and provide appropriate early intervention and support.
Today, 52 children are enrolled at this UNICEF-supported ECD centre, including Jacklyn’s six-year-old daughter Estherlyn.
“At home, I see competition between both of my daughters,” says Jacklyn. “I see that my younger daughter is quick to learn and knows a lot more things than her older sister.”