The UN’s child health and development agency (UNICEF) has called for a more holistic approach to education to be adopted by parents in developing countries.
The agency said parents must learn to interpret their children’s messages and emotions, not just read them, in order to prepare them for life in the global marketplace.
“We must be able to say to children, ‘You are doing well.
You are healthy, you are safe, you can learn to write and read’,” UNICEF director-general Jan Eliasson said in a speech to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.
“[We] must also learn to be the educators we wish to be.”
She said the agency was also working on a blueprint to tackle the lack of access to primary school education in the world’s poorest countries.
“We need to get our children to primary schools, and we must have access to their education, which is why we have started a global project to ensure that all children have access by 2030.”
I think I’m getting old, said the child, adding that she is tired of being taught by adults and teachers to read and write, but not the other way around.
The UNICEf programme is focused on children under five years of age, with a focus on literacy, numeracy and social skills.
It aims to educate children on how to read, write and understand languages, and to develop their social skills, as well as improve their self-esteem.
“The main focus is to encourage young children to read more, to make more use of their social and academic skills,” said Ms Eliassen.
She said there were a range of factors that contribute to poor reading skills, including cultural differences, limited resources and poor literacy rates.
A new study released in May found that reading is more important to children in developing nations than maths.
In addition, children in poor countries are more likely to use language to express emotions, and this is linked to a greater risk of emotional disorders and poor self-confidence.
“We’re seeing more and more children learning to read in a way that is not the same as what their parents do, and that is really challenging,” said Mr El-Zeb said.
“That’s where the next challenge lies, that we need to work with the communities to help them learn more effectively.”
“I am getting old.
I’m tired of this.
I don’t want to read anymore.
I want to be taught to read by people who are my age.”