Taj Nabi Khan
IF education matters, it matters the most at the early stages of life. The early years of childhood education are crucial as these are considered the formative years. It is claimed that the first 1000 days of children are very important for mental growth and personality formation. The country needs to pursue more rigorously education emergency and the early childhood education program. The staggering figure of out-of-school children sometimes numbs the mind and the efforts to address the issue are slow and weak.
The private schools offer admissions to children at the ages between 3-year and 3½-years. Recently, the mushroom growth of these schools witnessed. But sadly, neither the infrastructure of these schools monitored, nor the curriculum evaluated. Moreover, there is a serious disconnect between public and private schools. Parwan Ka Karwan is a new model introduced as pre-primary-education with unique style of teaching for kids before the age of 5-year.
The countrywide programme is an effort of public-private partnership of activity-based-teaching for training children to get education at school. It is actually a school readiness program where children are provided with equitable care and learning opportunities. The lesson plans of the program are based on the unconventional methodology, ‘learning through play’.
The Parwaan ECCD centers employ a holistic approach (cognitive, social, physical and emotional development) where education and health of the child are equally accounted for. The young entrepreneurs are well trained in the pedagogical and technical aspects of ECCD delivery along with entrepreneurship and essential business skills which allow them to run their setup sustainably.
The key feature of the program includes: Low-cost model of social entrepreneurship for ECO Services, the program is self-sustainable and has been contextually synchronized with Pakistani settings. The program has 72,000 beneficiary children (3-5), 5000 beneficiary youth (young men and women), program outreach 18 districts. The program has duration of three years linked with health care, radio, social media, and SMS services.
The demonstration of the kids who performed during the session organized by Parwaan National Centre of Excellence on Early Childhood Education & Development, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training has moved the audience. The inculcating culture, manner, and training had made the manifestation of their social development. Their style of meetings, greetings, etiquettes, behavior, had stunned the viewers for quite some time. It was strongly felt that an advocacy for Early Childhood Education (ECE) is required.
A large of number of Parwan Ka Karwan centers are established around the country in short span of time. The organization is providing ECED in different schools under public-private partnership in the federal capital. The Karwan has launched a fresh campaign under the title of ‘Parwan ka Karwan’ to establish 0.5 million ECED centers all across the country in the next 10 years.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.