Lack of public knowledge, inequality and poverty remain challenges against early childhood development (ECD) in Bangladesh, a research unveiled yesterday.
Outlining a set of recommendations, the study said the government has a key role to play in supporting positive development in the context of urbanisation and technological advancement.
Brac Institute of Educational Development (Brac IED) and the Frameworks Institute (FWI), a Washington based nonprofit think tank, jointly conducted the study titled “Reframing Early Childhood Development (ECD) in Bangladesh”.
The study was conducted in different districts including Dhaka, Chattogram, Khulna and Sylhet.
The findings were presented in a workshop held at Brac Centre in Dhaka.
According to the report, some 16 ministries have functions in ECD sectors in accordance with the government’s “Comprehensive Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Policy 2013” and “Strategic Operational and Implementation Plan of Comprehensive ECCD Policy 2016”.
The study reveals nine types of threatening factors including chronic stress, inadequate support for families, lack of standards for day care centres and pre-schools, inadequate services for marginalised population, environmental toxins, traditional gender roles, and loss of positive cultural practices.
The study placed a six-point proposal to improve ECD outcomes in Bangladesh which include - ECD education to five key categories of people (policymakers, teachers, religious leaders, parents, and health professionals); improved conditions for beneficiaries; use of science to spread policy information; attention to at-risk populations; better coordination of range of services and translation of policy into practices.
Md Gias Uddin Ahmed, additional secretary to the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education; Mohiuddin Ahmed, deputy director of Pre-primary Education under Directorate of Primary Education; Eric Lindland, senior research fellow of FWI; Ferdousi Khanom, senior research associate of Brac IED, and other experts also spoke at the programme.