In Tajikistan early childhood development programs - the equivalent of Head Start programs in the U.S. - are broken-down remnants of the Soviet era, more daycare services than opportunities to get ahead. But CAI-Tajikistan is looking to change that by creating a model, holistic program that could be replicated by any school in the region. The program includes the latest teaching methods for instructors, a safe learning environment, and unstructured playtime.
In Tajikistan, 70% of the population lives on less than $2 a day. 'Therefore, in addition to risks of poor health and nutrition, over half of all children miss the chance of being in stimulating learning environments during the years with the most rapid growth of language, cognition, and social capacities: the first seven years of life. The loss of human potential and human capital is enormous, and is a violation of children's rights to survival and development (Article 6, CRC).' (Resource#2)
At CAI, we believe that all children have the right to an education and the right to be raised in an environment that allows them to reach their full potential in life. CAI's program provides children with access to modern, safe facilities; ensures their teachers are versed in the latest ECD teaching methods; and is packaged in such a way that other schools can easily replicate the program, following in the footsteps of this groundbreaking endeavor.
This year, CAI-Tajikistan's country director will complete a model early childhood development program. This program will then be shared with other centers and schools, raising the standard of early childhood education in the country. Check out the full story "Head Start" in the 2015 issue of Journey of Hope. (Resource#3)