CHILDREN from kindergartens around Suva descended on Sukuna Park yesterday to commemorate the opening of the national Early Childhood Education (ECE) week.
And the children were in high spirits as they turned the park in the heart of Suva into a sea of colours.
The celebrations were organised by the Fiji Early Childhood Association (FECA) in partnership with Save the Children Fiji.
Permanent secretary for Education Dr Brij Lal highlighted the importance of ECE for child development while addressing the gathering yesterday.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister for Education Filipe Bole, Dr Lal said ECE achieved the highest rates of social return both in developing and industrialised countries. "Kindergarten offers children a "headstart" for their primary schooling which positively influences their later performances in school," he said.
Dr Lal said research by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation found that children exposed to ECE programs were more successful in their schooling than those who were not.
"ECE is one way of providing opportunities for the less privileged child, thus helping to eliminate the inequalities in educational opportunities that are inherent in Fiji today," he said.
Save the Children Fiji project officer Avinit Narayan said the Save the Children Fiji team from the Vuli Taumada Shishak (VTS) project was also assisting ECE centres earn money during the celebrations to continue to provide quality ECE education.