Universal Children’s Day Message from Chief Executive Officer of IECD, Mrs Shirley Choppy.

Shirley Choppy IECD Chief Executive

‘Inclusive Education is a Guaranteed way to Ensure that every Child has the Chance to Flourish.’

“Another year, another chance to celebrate our children and place them on the highest of pedestals. The Institute of Early Childhood Development (IECD) joins Seychelles along with the rest of the world to commemorate this auspicious day that is Universal Children’s Day.

This year’s theme ‘Inclusion for Every Child’ shines a light on the need for every child to have equal rights, equal opportunities and equal benefits regardless of their upbringing, ethnicity and diversity.

The early childhood ages (0-8 years) are the most crucial for any child and being in an environment that accepts, includes and values them are essential for them to feel safe, confident and most importantly, help them to thrive.

Inclusion for young children, means that every child should be able to participate in daily activities and routines as they would like to. IECD puts great emphasis on the need to treat every child the same and strives as per its mandate to advocate strongly for there to be fair chances for all children, particularly when it comes to Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE).

Inclusive education is a guaranteed way to ensure that every child has the chance to attend school, learn and develop the skills needed to flourish. However, the fact remains that we can only do so much alone. There needs to be more of a collective approach between us – the professionals in ECCE, parents, childcare service providers, advocators – and policymakers in the matter, as inclusive systems require there to be changes at every level of society.

As American Educational Reformer and Philosopher John Dewey said ‘If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of a tomorrow.’ – This statement is just another way to say that there is a need for reform and changes in the systems to make it more inclusive for every child to develop holistically, ensure a happier and brighter future for all. The educators require proper training to cater for the need of every child; appropriate infrastructures to accommodate for all children; stigma and discrimination need to be eradicated by strongly educating our people about the importance and value of inclusivity, and the long-lasting benefits to every child developing a positive image about themselves. This is as a result of being nurtured in a safe and caring environment where they are accepted, feel loved and a sense of belonging, and for who they are and for whom they could potentially be in the foreseeable future.

The Board, Management and Staff of IECD wishes to convey a Warm and Happy Universal Children’s Day to every child near and far.”

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