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Experts discuss role of public private partnerships and innovative approaches to preschool education
The Ministry of Preschool Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Uzbekistan have held a joint conference titled ‘Innovative Approaches to Improving Access to Affordable, Quality Preschool Education in Uzbekistan’.
More than 300 participants from the public and private sectors discussed ways to improve and expand the system of preschool education through cooperation between the government and the private sector. High level participants included Kakhramon Akmalov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Head of the Complex on Education, Health, Ecology, Environmental Protection, Physical Education and Sports, Agrepina Shin, Minister of Preschool Education, Sascha Graumann, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan and other officials from the various ministries and departments.
The main goal of the conference was to determine the prospects for development and expansion of access to quality preschool education in Uzbekistan, create a platform for dialogue between the state and private sector and promote the introduction of innovative approaches to preschool education.
Participants of the conference discussed methods for improving and expanding the system of preschool education in Uzbekistan through cooperation between the state and the private sector, discussed modern approaches to managing the educational activities of pre-school organizations. They also reviewed organizational issues and mechanisms for implementing public-private partnerships in Uzbekistan and made recommendations on improving the educational and development environment in pre-schools. International experts presented the best global practices in the field.
“International best practices show that investing in young children is a smart investment in the long term, however, providing preschool education for around 2.6 million children aged 3—7 years old, out of which 70% of children do not attend preschool, is no easy task.” said Sascha Graumann, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan.
“We commend the Ministry of Preschool Education for prioritizing early childhood education and exploring innovative modes of partnerships with the private sector towards achieving the goal of universal preschool education in Uzbekistan.
“Evidence suggests that there is great potential for public- private partnerships to contribute towards progress in preschool education. This will result in broader coverage and greater efficiency towards the delivery of preschool education, particularly in reaching children in the most marginalized areas.”
The conference contributed to a shared understanding between the Government and stakeholders on the role and potential of PPP in improving the preschool education sector. Participants further acknowledged key challenges in the field and underlined the need for creating a legal and regulatory environment for facilitating PPP in preschool education.
"Preschool education remains one of the most important links in the chain of educational stages of social life in general, as well as in the life of each individual. The issues related to the use of innovative approaches in increasing accessibility, efficiency and quality of preschool education are issues that determine tomorrow and we will surely implement them. "- said Agreзina Shin, Minister of Preschool Education.