Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron called on all countries to implement the Global Partnership Strategy (GPS) for the protection and development of early childhood.

Chuon Naron made the call at the GPS launch, saying Cambodia was committed to successfully implementing it for the protection and development of Cambodians in early childhood.

“All countries should continue to cooperate in sharing experiences to implement the strategy for all children around the world,” he said.

According to the ministry, the GPS is an initiative created by UNESCO and partners to address the shortages of services and meet the needs of small children, including pre-school education, health, nutrition, personal hygiene and child protection across the world.

It said the mission was in line with the core principles of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Agenda which ensures that all children have access to quality care and education so that they can be prepared for elementary school.

UNESCO expressed its gratitude to all of the countries participating, including the ministers who were present to engage in the dialogue on innovation as well as all member states for their commitments to the right to education.

UNESCO provided statistics which showed that two-thirds of low and middle-Income countries had reported reducing their public education budgets due to the pandemic.

Although many challenges already existed for achieving full access to quality early childhood services before the Covid-19 crisis, this finding dramatically revealed how the pandemic threatens to erode hard-won gains for children and families and could continue to have exceedingly negative impacts on child development, early learning, family wellbeing and all types of early childhood services.

UNESCO said the GPS was created to counter these negative trends in early childhood services development and to overcome the reduction of services for health, nutrition, sanitation and child protection across all regions of the world.