UNICEF and Community of Tegh in Syunik Marz Sign a Memorandum of Understanding
02 December 2021
UNICEF will establish early learning centers in Karashen and Khoznavar with the financial support of the European Union.
UNICEF Representative Christine Weigand and Head of Tegh consolidated community David Gulunts signed a cooperation agreement in Syunik, joining efforts to establish two new early learning centers in Karashen and Khoznavar settlements of Tegh community with the financial support of the European Union in Armenia.
“Children in Syunik nowadays face unprecedented challenges that demand support and commitment. Investing in children’s development from a young age is investing in the future of Syunik, one where every child counts and is able to contribute to the prosperity and development of this beautiful marz,” said Christine Weigand, UNICEF Representative in Armenia. “Among other issues, children in these two settlements are deprived of early learning opportunities, which hamper their development and school readiness. In 2022, the new centers will create jobs for the women from the communities and welcome children of three to six years of age, engaging them in activities that inspire learning and help them develop.”
In the next 12 months, UNICEF will work together with the two settlements to ensure the renovation and furnishing of the early learning centers, covering the establishment costs, and will provide them with necessary toys and learning materials, as well as deliver training for a group of women from both settlements on early childhood learning. The communities will be responsible for the renovation works and for planning and budgeting the recurrent cost of the services to secure the operational sustainability of the centers. In line with UNICEF’s alternative model of early learning services, the kindergarten in Tegh will become a methodological hub for the new centers. Tegh kindergarten teachers will also benefit from early learning training sessions and methodological materials. The project will be implemented in close consultation with the Ministries of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, as well as Education, Science, Culture and Sports, in line with the Government priorities in education.
UNICEF’s alternative model of early learning services was first piloted in Syunik marz from 2014-2016 when early learning centers were established in eight settlements - Bnunis, Bardzravan, Taronik, Tasik, Alvanq, Nrnadzor, Hatsavan, and Yeghvard. UNICEF modeled, evaluated and costed the pilot initiatives, as a result of which the Government of Armenia invested in this model of organizing the early learning services in other remote, sparsely populated settlements of the country.
The establishment of the early learning centers in Karashen and Khoznavar settlements of Tegh consolidated community, as well as Hartashen settlement of the Goris consolidated community became possible with the financial support of the European Union and as part of its Future Today project, aimed to empower women, youth and children and deepen democracy in Armenia.