UNE researchers help in Bhutan’s early childhood education boom

Published 30 October 2014

Bhutan3Demand for early childhood education in the South Asian country of Bhutan has boomed, leading to a unique partnership with researchers from The University of New England.

Ten lecturers from the Royal University of Bhutan are in Armidale to spend time at several local early childhood centres.

UNE Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education, and project leader Dr Margaret Brooks says there has never been any early childhood training in Bhutan.

“Bhutan has had a rapid socio-economic transformation which has put a strain on the traditional extended family support systems for young children.”

Six lecturers from UNE will help develop and deliver a new diploma and BA degree in Early Childhood Teaching in Bhutan.

Dr Brooks says Bhutan is struggling to find the resources to provide high quality early childhood education centres and well-trained staff.

“A lot of families are now double income earners in the urban areas and they are starting to want childcare as they don’t have extended family nearby.“

She says Bhutan has never had early childhood training.

“There is an increasing awareness in Bhutan of the important role early childhood plays in the future success of its people.”

The education programs will be rolled out in Bhutan in 2016.