Press Release

Posted on 8 September 2010 by Nola Harvey

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New Zealand joins other countries in defending children’s rights to play and education

 

New Zealand joins other countries in defending children’s rights to play and education


Advocating for the rights of the young child in terms of both education and wellbeing is the focus for OMEP both nationally and internationally. This month two members of OMEP Aotearoa represented New Zealand at the OMEP World Assembly and Congress in Goteborg, Sweden. All delegates, representing seventy-two countries and five continents made a commitment to defend the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, especially the right of children to play while at the same time ensuring their wellbeing, in all countries and in all educational programmes. NZ has been a signatory to the Convention since 1993, and the focus on children’s rights to play and education will be the focus of our national AGM in November in Wellington this year.

Today, most governments are reacting to political, economic and financial problems with an over-emphasis on the swift development of literacy and numeracy skills for very young children in readiness for when they start school.  This results in dramatically restricting the holistic approach to early childhood education through teacher-supported play which is proven, through research, to support lifelong achievement.

We now know that the United Nations Millennium Development Goals on reducing poverty and giving all children the rights to play and education will not be met.  Thus, the OMEP World Congress and Assembly implores all governments at local and national levels to re-orient their plans and allocate resources so that the goals will be met. As a world leader in early childhood education curriculum, the NZ Government must protect the continuance of high quality inclusive play-based programmes led by fully qualified early childhood teacher teams to ensure participation by all families of all cultures.

Doreen Launder of Wellington is OMEP International’s vice president for the Asia Pacific region which includes China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Nepal, India, Australia and New Zealand. Doreen is currently travelling to Nepal where she will be trekking to two preschools, in two villages, Ghunsa and Foley, each located in the foothills of Mount Kangchenjunga, in the north-eastern corner of Nepal (www.Kangchenjungaproject.org)
 She is taking ECE material from New Zealand and will give advice and guidance to the parent teachers. Through small projects such as this, OMEP Aotearoa, as part of the Asia Pacific region, has successfully supported member Asia- Pacific countries who face significant challenges in achieving quality early childhood education provision.

www.omepaotearoa.org.nz
www.omep.org.gu.se


Contact: Barbara Allan: agbaallan@hotmail.com

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