In the capital city Thimphu, there is an abundance of day care centres and kindergartens but there are very few places for early childhood care and learning in rural parts of Bhutan. This puts the rural children at a disadvantage in early education. Loden developed its ELCs to give equal opportunities to the rural children and help them gain an early start in education.
The first six years in a child’s life are known to be the most formative period of a child’s cognitive, emotional, and social development. Early childhood is known to have a lasting impact on how children will act as grown-ups. Investing in the early years of childhood can ensure generations of children who will grow up to be successful and responsible adults. The Loden Early Learning Centres provide opportunity to rural children to have a timely start in their education. Since 2008, we established five centres in Bumthang (Ura), Zhemgang (Goshing), Paro (Dawakha), Mongar (Limethang) and Samtse (Norbugang).
Our facilitators – most of whom are from the same community – work closely with the community members and their respective sister schools to cater to the needs of the children. The children – mostly between the age of 3-5 years old – are engaged with activities such as developing good manners and hygiene, learning both Dzongkha and English nursery rhymes, understanding the importance of the value of home, sense of community, parents, learning the importance of environment that includes introductions to animals, plants, insects and basic responsibilities such as waste management and keeping their centre tidy. The centres are equipped with essential educational materials updated each year, a playground so that they learn to enjoy playing and stay healthy. We continue to build the capacity of our facilitators so that they are able to provide a wholesome and inclusive education for the children.
Since its launch, more than 600 children graduated from Loden Early Centres as of 2021.
Loden currently operates three Early Learning Centres in the following Districts:
1. Ura Community in Bumthang
2. Lingmithang Community in Mongar
3. Norbugang Community in Samtse
*ELCs in Paro and Zhemgang have been handed over to the Ministry of Education.
Loden hopes to establish similar centres in other parts of Bhutan to help supplement the efforts of the Royal Government of Bhutan. You can donate funds, children’s books and toys to support our centres. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org