On November 14-16, Tashkent hosted UNESCO World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education (WCECCE 2022) which gathered ministers, heads and members of delegations, representatives of United Nations agencies, development cooperation agencies, civil society organizations, education agents and experts from around the world. The outcome of the high-level conference is Tashkent Declaration and Commitments to Action for Transforming Early Childhood Care and Education. Panel discussions and conference sections were live-streamed to ensure all interested parties could witness the event, and the Pleanary Sessions and the Policy Day alone had at least 4.7 thousand viewers on WCECCE’s official YouTube channel.
UNESCO IITE was represented at WCECCE by its Director, Mr Tao Zhan. Together with Roger Federer Foundation, UNESCO IITE moderated a panel discussion “Technology and Artificial Intelligence”. Participants to the panel discussion – from China, Qatar, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Uganda – shared their national practices and approaches concerning the use of Artificial Intelligence in early childhood education alongside some country-specific and region-specific methods. The discussion that followed concerned the questions of how early is early regarding education involving the use of information technologies in education; how to specifically measure and monitor the use of devices by children – whether they are really used for educational purposes at any given time; how to provide adequate knowledge of ICT among all kindergarden educators provided not all of them have necessary teaching qualifications; how to develop the child holistically (including the small motor skills) not to turn young technology users into those who are only able to use their index finger.
Some of the outtakes from the discussion were later included into the final version of the Tashkent Declaration and Commitments to Action for Transforming Early Childhood Care and Education.