Sri Lanka State Minister of Women and Child Affairs Mrs. Geetha Kumarasinghe emphasized that steps will be taken to provide formal training for pre-school teachers in order to boost early childhood development.
The state minister also pointed out that the government has focused on providing a salary for pre-school teachers as well.
These statements were made by the State Minister of Women and Child Affairs, Mrs. Geetha Kumarasinghe, during her participation in a press conference at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) on August 25 under the theme ‘Collective Path to a stable country’.
State Minister of Women and Child Affairs Geetha Kumarasinghe further said;
The government has paid more attention to the health of the children. Also, efforts are being made to raise the nutritional status of children. The government has already taken steps to launch a special nutrition program for children diagnosed with malnutrition.
The government is also working to provide money to low-income families suffering from malnutrition to enable them to get nutritious meals. Arrangements have been made to provide financial assistance to identified families through the divisional secretaries located throughout the island.
Running pre-schools should be subject to certain regulations. The initial mental state of children is created by preschools. No one cares much about early childhood. That is why the government has decided to provide formal training to pre-school teachers.
As in countries like Japan and Switzerland, the training level of preschool teachers should be brought to a higher level. It is also necessary to send them to such countries and provide them with proper training.
When starting a pre-school, it should be done under a legal framework. The pre-school teacher should be a graduate. They require their own specialized training. Some preschools have teaching assistants.
Maybe that assistant was someone who had appeared for the regular exam. They have the experience of working with the head teacher for a long time.
Therefore, we are negotiating with the Ministry of Education to provide them with good training as well as a salary. The mind of the teacher should be right. It also helps to increase the development of early childhood.
Some mothers leave their newborn babies on the streets. In other instances, they are killed. Do not do that. Give them to us. It is difficult to establish new child care centres based on the current economic situation.
But attention is being paid to a system of taking care of children by creating separate places in government hospitals. Discussions are underway with the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health in this regard.
Violence against women and child abuse in this country has risen to an alarming level. It has been suggested to conduct awareness programs on child abuse at the school level.
When a schoolgirl or child is sexually assaulted, she hesitates to tell her parents. Maybe they will prefer to tell it to her best friend whom she trusts more. Therefore, schoolchildren should be consulted by programs on how to deal with this matter.
There are loopholes in the law regarding the abuse of women and children. Some women do not want to report such incidents to the police when they get abused. They feel ashamed when they go to present the complaint in public. In that regard, separate cubicles and women police officers have been deployed in every police station.
Therefore, special attention and protection should be given to dealing with such women. Also, regarding the victimized women, the media should focus on acting under self-discipline in such a way that no one is prejudiced.
The previous program of providing nutritional support for pregnant mothers is being continued. Arrangements have been made to provide nutritional support to mothers registered in government maternity clinics.
For this year alone, the government has allocated Rs. 11 million to provide nutritional support to pregnant mothers.