‘Invest in early academic life of children’

St Mary’s kindergarten students perform an item at the early childhood education day at Subrail Park in Labasa yesterday. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

IN a communal-based society such as ours, nurturing of children is often seen as women’s responsibility, says University of the South Pacific academic Dr Samuela Bogitini.

Such a perception, Dr Bogitini said, could be one of the major reasons why early childhood education was perceived to be of lesser significance compared with primary and secondary education.

In launching the early childhood education celebration in Labasa yesterday, the university’s Labasa campus director told parents that such a perception becomes part of the belief system of a society and is accepted by all.

“This is how policies are formulated because it must reflect the belief system of a society,” he said.

“Policymakers failed to see the linkages and connections of early childhood education to primary and secondary schools and even tertiary level.

“Early childhood education provides a lifelong platform for children if fully explored.”

Dr Bogitini urged parents to invest in the early academic life of their children.

“Enhancing or optimising the early years of children’s lives is the best investment we can make as a society in ensuring their future success,” he said.

“Early childhood education will not only make children better communicators at an early age, but give them better learning skills that can help them throughout their lives.

“It is a time when children particularly need high quality personal care and learning experiences, especially from their parents as well.”

Dr Bogitini said when parents invested wisely in their children and families, the nation and communities would be rewarded with a lifetime of productivity and responsible citizenship.

“When we fail to provide children with what they need at that critical stage in their lives that will build a strong foundation for healthy and productive lives, we put our future prosperity and security at risk,” he said.

“It is, therefore, imperative that we all work together in providing an enabling environment for children to explore their full potential with minimal disruptions in their growing up.”

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