Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Nadiem Anwar Makarim on Thursday lauded one thousand village heads and apparatuses for signing a commitment to enhancing early childhood education (PAUD) in villages.

"We laud the cooperation between our ministry and the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration for enhancing the quality of education in villages to expedite our effort for reaching sustainable village development goals," he said while joining a webinar from Jakarta.

According to the ministry's education data, around 19 thousand villages do not have any early age education units despite the importance of early education for children aged 0–6, he informed adding, this age range is considered as the golden period for developing cognitive, language, social, emotional, and moral abilities.

Meanwhile, Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration Abdul Halim Iskandar said that the ministry is implementing the 'Quality village education' program to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"My ministry has adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the village level, and our quality village education program has been conceived to achieve the development goals," he added.

Indonesian children living in 80 thousand villages nationwide must be able to enjoy quality early age education, he remarked.

Related news: Directly transfer fund assistance to schools simplifies bureaucracy

The minister also deemed village heads and apparatuses' commitment to advancing local education as essential, saying it is their role to extend the implementation of government programs, including on early childhood education, to villages.

Sujianto, head of Sekida Village in Bengkayang District, West Kalimantan, said that village heads must integrate the commitment to develop early age education programs with village regulations.

"We must start from the village development plan, then appropriate the necessary funds in the village budget, and continue to conceive relevant village regulations," the village head elaborated.

Sujianto also said that active involvement of religious, community, and youth figures, as well as village PAUD instructors, is essential for bolstering early age education activities in villages.

Related news: Early marriage deprives children access to quality education: minister

Translator: Indriani, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2022