Saint Lucia’s early childhood educators have expressed concern that the authorities are sidelining them.
The National Association of Early Childhood Practitioners (NAECP) expressed the concern in a statement Tuesday.
The association is the umbrella organization which represents Early Childhood Educators here.
“The NAECP is saddened to see that we have not been in the forefront or engaged in
the planning for a safe return with the back to school plans within the past few weeks,” the association statement said.
“Our sector has constantly been in the backseat when consultations are taking place, and press information is released,” the statement observed.
It noted that the authorities seldom send the educators specific information.
“We have made several attempts to write to stakeholders and request that the Early Childhood sector be given clear and specific updates catered to our sector and that we be engaged and have a seat at the table in the decision making process that will affect our centers,” the NAECP recalled.
The association said its membership believes that when updates are given with regard to school closures and reopening, the early childhood education sector is always the last to be informed due to the lack of clarification.
It declared that the NAECP Membership was not consulted regarding the Educational Continual Plan being discussed.
” We had no prior knowledge of the proposed document being discussed and to be implemented for back to school on Monday,” the organisation disclosed.
It urged the relevant authorities and stakeholders to make a greater effort in merging this communication gap as it has been discussed at several meetings in the past.
“We ask the relevant authorities and stakeholders to pay more attention to the Early Childhood Sector, as we have been sidelined since March 2020,” NAECP asserted.
“The Early Childhood Sector must be recognized as a relevant part of the development of our children from 0- 5 years in Saint Lucia and should be engaged on a higher level,” the association declared.
Headline photo courtesy Jason Sung (Stock image)