Oman Observer

MUSCAT: Over the past forty years the Sultanate has made headway in terms of ensuring children’s right to education from the age of six in line with the international consensus regarding early childhood development. This was stated by Lana al Wreikat, (pictured) Representative of United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) in the Sultanate, in an interview with Oman News Agency (ONA). The Sultanate is committed to increasing the chances of education and the provision of Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) in all governorates of the Sultanate, Al Wreikat said.

IECD also involves children’s health, child protection, food and is considered among the priorities of education in the Sultanate, Al Wreikat said adding that the IECD work team comprises experts from all the ministries and authorities concerned such as the early childhood education at the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), the ministry of social development and the Unicef office. The work team has reviewed the national policies and strategies governing early childhood development and devised an action plan aimed at enhancing a multi-sectoral approaches with a view to ensuring integrated services for developing early childhood, the official said.

Al Wreikat said the Sultanate has taken many measures to protect the rights of children with disabilities noting that the provision of services to the children with special disabilities is the responsibility of several authorities. These services include education, rehabilitation as well as the other specialized services. Al Wreikat stressed the importance to lay down an integrated approach for disability to ensure the provision of best possible care to the children with disabilities as well as integrating them into the society and the educational services. In order to achieve this goal, the government with the Unicef support, is developing a standardized approach for the classification of disabilities in line with the international directives. — ONA