Government to introduce Universal Early Childhood Education in 2012

The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development on Wednesday announced plans to introduce Universal Early Childhood Education by September 2012.

Minister for Education and Human Resource Development Hon. Petter Saint Jean told a national symposium on Early Childhood Development that his ministry remained committed to the provision of high quality education for all.

“We believe, therefore, that in order to be successful we must get it right from the start.

“I want at this juncture to inform you that your government has taken a decision to work towards the attainment of Universal Early Childhood Education by September 2012. Let us remember that while Rome was built; it was not built in a day. Therefore, we have embarked on achieving our goals on a phase model and we need the commitment of all stakeholders,” Saint Jean said.
Saint Jean said some primary schools will have to be upgraded to meet the necessary criteria for Early Childhood Education.

“In the coming weeks the Ministry of Education will engage all stake holders. The Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructural Development will be engaged in providing us with the necessary technical expertise for these infrastructural projects,” he explained.

According to Mr. Saint Jean Early Childhood Education forms an integral part of an individual’s life and the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development was cognizant of the need to lay a foundation for life.

“There are still too many of our precious little ones who are not exposed to positive early childhood experiences. I speak here of communities like Penville, Silverlake, Dubique, Tarish Pit, Yam piece and others which, by no doing of their own, are somewhat disadvantaged.

“In the new school year we will ensure that parents are relieved from the financial nightmares of having to pay those fees which in many cases are prohibitive,” Saint Jean said.

He said the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development provides a subvention every term to Early Childhood facilities that are registered with the Ministry of Education.

The ministry has also ensured that there is a national curriculum that is developmentally appropriate for preschool children and is working towards harmonizing the programmes for daycares.

Saint Jean encouraged stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health, to provide support for the development of early childhood education.

“I want to solicit the commitment of the Ministry of Health in providing the early surveillance, screening and stimulation for our children from zero to three years,” he said.

“Get it right from the start.  The education system is not just the sole responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, but also that of a number of stakeholders,” he added.

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  1. Nudibranch
    September 6, 2012

    Education begins at home, sending them off to an already crowded class to watch someone with no teaching skills allow them to play will not help them.
    Parents, read to your child, engage their minds, give them the rudiments from which they can build. Teachers are not superhuman and can only do so much. It’s up to you at home to foster curiosity and a willingness to learn.

    December 2, 2011

    Good moves Mr. St. Jean. Just remember to create more jobs for them when they are ready for the job market.

    • Anonymous
      September 21, 2012

      It goes without saying – they themselves will become entrepreneurs.

  3. teacher
    December 1, 2011

    Are we going to upgrade the schools? Newtown still leaking. Doors are falling school yard in shambles. And the Ministry of Communication and Works is not co-operating with the Chinese and putting things in place for the building of the long proposed new school.

  4. Jaime Lewis
    December 1, 2011

    Early childhood education is very important in preparing children for elementary school. I support this new idea, and would like to know where someone could access a list of the early childhood centers in Dominica. Is there a pre-school in every village?

    December 1, 2011

    Petter have declared that it’s not petter…but peter!

    • ya!
      December 2, 2011

      It is spelt Petter…pronounced Peter.

  6. December 1, 2011

    The people who write kids they are are little goats.

    • me
      December 1, 2011


      kid1    /kɪd/ Show Spelled [kid] Show IPA noun, verb, kid·ded, kid·ding, adjective
      1. Informal . a child or young person.
      2. (used as a familiar form of address.)
      3. a young goat.
      4. leather made from the skin of a kid or goat, used in making shoes and gloves.
      5. a glove made from this leather.
      verb (used without object), verb (used with object)
      6. (of a goat) to give birth to (young).

  7. Donald Tusk
    December 1, 2011

    Universal education is the worse reform to happen to Dominica, that is why our kids in such a mess?
    It does not work, now u going to lower grades u people really stupid. U dumbing down your own people.

  8. I see
    December 1, 2011

    Mr St Jean have you all thought about closing some schools and combining them with others? Schools like Dos d’ane, Thibaud, Savanne Paille. Why keep a school open with 20 kids when they can take a 5-minutes bus ride to another primary school? Too many wasted resources then we say no money

  9. I'mWondering
    December 1, 2011

    that’s a great step… all kids should have a chance at that. The kids are our future and education is the indispensable tool which will give them that bright future.

  10. Bullcrap
    December 1, 2011

    I know that everything in this country have become about politics. But their are time when u have to put that aside and give jack his jacket.Of all the things i have head coming form this government mouth and all the crap they speak. I will say here and now this is the best decision that can be made. If we want to develop this country and teach out future leaders to take this country to the next level. we have to start early.

    So i say go for it.

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