CHIȘINĂU, August 11, 2010―World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick, accompanied by Prime Minister Vlad Filat, Minister of Education Leonid Bujor, the mayor of the town of Cucuruzeni, and members of the local community visited the recently renovated Cucuruzeni kindergarten. The pre-school institution, which will benefit over 820 town families, was renovated through the World Bank-supported Moldova Social Investment Fund 2 project and the Education for All/Fast Track Initiative (EFA-FTI). The Initiative is implemented in co-operation with UNICEF and the Ministry of Education.
The kindergarten is one of 65 pre-school institutions across Moldova that were fully renovated under this project, and one of 600 pre-schools that received teaching materials and books under the FTI program. The program also supports the training of more than half of all managers and teaching staff involved in pre-primary education in the country.
“Cucuruzeni’s example is a wonderful illustration of how joint effort and commitment, particularly among the local community, to the cause of early childhood education has materialized into a pre-school institution that will benefit Moldova’s children,” said World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick. “The World Bank is pleased to be supporting this very important program for the country.”
“The visit by World Bank president Zoellick underscores the importance of the work of all FTI partners,” said Leonid Bujor, Minister of Education of Moldova. “It also shows the leadership Moldova is making with its early childhood education program as the cornerstone of the education sector strategy.”
The local kindergarten will serve the community’s 123 children, including 50 children aged 1-3 who will have access to early childhood development services. A local community organization will oversee the future work of the pre-school and use of the facilities and resources.
As a result of Moldova’s attention to early childhood development, access of children to early childhood development programs in Moldova has increased from 61 percent in 2003 to 75 percent in 2009, and in rural areas, from 51 percent in 2003 to 66 percent in 2009*. In total, 20,000 more children enrolled in pre-primary education from 2003 to 2009.
*Source: National Bureau of Statistics, 2009