Working together to bring positive change for future generations

  • “Working on early life development of children helps nurture and develop valuable and important human resources of our Union. In other words, it is not wasteful spending; it is, in fact, a strategic investment for the future.” This was the opening statement of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at the High-Level Forum on ‘Realizing Myanmar’s Development Vision for Every Child’ held in Nay Pyi Taw on 28 January.
    The future of a country depends on the emphasis placed on the next generation’s overall development. There are national strategies in place in Myanmar for working towards the development of the children of our country, as an investment in our nation’s future. While authorities concerned acknowledge that children’s affairs are important to the future of a nation, there has been a lack of strategic investment in the area.
    This is why the State Counsellor highlighted five important factors in her speech for systematically fulfilling the development needs of every child in Myanmar, as a matter of top priority. Myanmar unveiled its Early Childhood Care and Development Strategy (ECCD) in December last year. Successful implementation of the ECCD Strategy needs cooperation from each parent, teacher, and relevant department, and ultimately, all the people living in the country.
    The State Counsellor also said that in order to create a good shift for our country, the direction of the strategy needs to be understood and there is a need for all stakeholders to make the push together. The implementation of work processes and time frames need to be systematic. Sector-wise and region-wise projects must be drawn not only to meet the requirements, but must also be implementable. It is very important for ministries and state and region governments to plan and conduct works that seek to include all people in annual projects and to ensure that there are connections and linkages.
    Studies and discussions for securing the future of each child in Myanmar should be conducted across sectors to reduce childhood deaths, ensure registration of children at birth, ensure they have a healthy, warm, and safe life, enjoy equal opportunity in education, increase their time in school, and prevent human trafficking and recruitment of children into the military.
    Everyone from the government and private sector must participate and work together to resolve the weaknesses and consolidate the strengths of each sector. Just like we can shift a large rock if we work together as a group rather than individually, we can bring about great changes for the benefit of our future generations if we all work together. And in doing so, we will ensure well-balanced physical and mental development of all the children in the country.
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