Lhakpa Quendren | Sarpang

Seven newly-established Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) centres in Sarpang are awaiting approval from the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) to recruit facilitators.

The non-formal education (NFE) instructors man the six ECCD centres while the Lharing ECCD in Gakiling Gewog is closed due to the lack of a facilitator.   

A mother, Chabika Rai from Lharing said that access to childcare would make life easier for working parents. “Keeping children enrolled in childcare centres would give the mother more time to engage at work,” she said.

“We are happy with a new site for child care services and waiting for it to open. I hope the government will extend childcare support,” she said.

Another working mother said that the childcare centre facilities bring a sense of relief among parents. “The centre is a great option for working parents. The parents at work need a safe place for their kids.”

To ease the cost burden on working parents, the Gakiling Gewog Administration spent Nu 1 million to construct the Lharing ECCD centre.

Gakiling Gup Nim Dorji Sherpa said that the 12th Plan requires a childcare centre for every chiwog in the country. “We carried out a survey to establish the centres where it is required.”

“The infrastructures have arrived before the construction and the centre is ready for operation if we have a facilitator,” he said. “We are hopeful that the government would look into the matter and give equal opportunities to the rural children.”

Sarpang Dzongkhag officiating education officer, Kunzang Dorji said that some centres are operating through mobile ECCD while the NFE instructors run others. “But there are no permanent facilitators.”

He said that the centres were approved by the education ministry and have received the required facilities, but are now waiting for the approval of facilitators from the Royal Civil Service Commission.