Lack of facilitators and information are the major challenges in the education ministry’s plan to establish an Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) centre in every chiwog of Bhutan.

Deputy Chief Dzongkhag Education Officer in Thimphu, Lham Tshering, talked about the importance of early education for children at the Dzongkhag Yargay Tshogdu meeting yesterday.

Lham Tshering said that to move forward with the establishment of ECCD in the country, the gewog officials need to come forward with a plan. “Information such as the number of children is important. For a construction of ECCD, we must have at least 15 students attending the centre.”

She said that if there is information, then the plans for chiwogs with less children and equipment could be discussed. “If a centre does not have enough students, the facilitators can move from one chiwog to another within the gewog.”

In the past, a letter asking for information about the number of children was sent to the gewog offices. There has not been any response so far.

Yesterday, the dzongkhag officials asked the education officers to submit a letter again to the gewog office.

Lham Tshering said that there is a lack of facilitators in the centres today and with the construction of ECCD in the chiwogs, the recruitment process will be difficult. “One reason could be because the facilitators are not regularised by the Civil Service Commission (RCSC).”

After a plan for development of ECCD, it will be incorporated with the 12 Plan.

Yesterday’s meeting also discussed issues such as the decreasing number of students in the remote areas and admission in a boarding school requiring the house to be at a distance of an hour’s walk from the school.

Phurpa Lhamo