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VideoMarch 21, 2024

Early childhood education, an opportunity to strengthen El Salvador's human capital

In this video, José Mauricio Pineda, Minister of Education of El Salvador, and Alexandra Posada, Head of Early Childhood in the Office of the First Lady and President of the Crecer Juntos Institute, explain the country's commitment to early childhood.

What are the concrete actions that would stand out in El Salvador's commitment to Early Childhood Education?

We have not only approved the Crecer Juntos (Growing Together) law and its policy, but also other laws that benefit early childhood, such as the Nacer con Cariño (Born with Care) law. And if we want to add more, we also have the creation of the Crecer Juntos Institute, which is in charge of monitoring that everything we have put in place, not only in education, but also in health and, let's say, in a holistic way, in all the care and attention of our children at that age.

What we do not do for our children from 0 to 3 years of age we will never recover, it will be lost. And obviously we know that it has a very high cost for society.

What are the reasons, a little earlier in the process, that lead El Salvador to bet on this early childhood education?

We have a very large population of children between zero and seven years of age. We are talking about more than 800,000 children, and this represents a golden opportunity to really strengthen our human capital. To change, to have a before and an after in El Salvador.

What are the key elements to guarantee its quality?

We have started, let's start well and at the beginning, to train our early childhood teachers. Before that, the issue of spaces. We believe that learning spaces, more than spaces, should be systems, systems that allow learning to be managed. And teachers play a very important role in this.

In addition, the family also plays a very important role. We cannot think of quality education if we do not include our parents, the parents of our children. It is not the same for a child to pick up a book and start reading while sitting in an armchair or in a chair, as it is for a child to start reading while sitting on his or her mother's or father's lap.

How does El Salvador envision the future of early childhood education?

Accessible, to be able to reach every corner. We have a great debt. There are children who have particular conditions because of their demographics, because of their home structure, that require certain attention, different from others who perhaps have a stable home and a different socioeconomic level. They all need to receive quality care.

However, the way in which you take care of them must be relevant to the needs of each one of them. It is useless to invest millions and millions in infrastructure, equipment and supplies if we do not fix the root of the problem, what happens inside these spaces, the forms, the training of teachers, the early childhood care agents, is extremely fundamental.

We are all connected, all the institutions.

This interview was conducted in the framework of an event on the importance of investing in early childhood education held in El Salvador.