Southeast Asian countries have made important progress in the field of early childhood care and education (ECCE). However, equitable access to ECCE programmes remains a major challenge for all countries, while the quality of ECCE provision has been subject to increasing scrutiny. Teachers’ qualifications, competence, commitment and motivation to deliver quality education are central in a child’s physical, cognitive, linguistic and socio-emotional development. Especially for ECCE, teachers’ professional qualifications and skills are the key to quality of teacher-child interaction, which research has shown as the most important determinant of quality of ECCE. While there is enormous diversity among Southeast Asian countries in terms of their levels of development, their awareness of the key roles played by pre-primary teachers and interest in upgrading their qualifications are clearly observed across the sub-region. At the same time, the lack of adequate training, certification and incentives for ECCE practitioners (teachers, caregivers) is a widespread and growing challenge. In this context, UNESCO Bangkok and SEAMEO launched the joint project “Pre-primary Teacher Development in Southeast Asia,” financially supported by the Japan Funds-in-Trust. As part of the project, UNESCO Bangkok and SEAMEO developed “Southeast Asian Guidelines for Early Childhood Teacher Development and Management.” The guidelines will support SEAMEO Member Countries’ further efforts to strengthen their ECCE workforce by supporting the professionalization and capacity development of pre-primary teachers.
Area: Southeast Asia