Excerpt from Newsletter of Pakistan Alliance for Early Childhood (PAFEC)
The importance of Early Childhood Development is getting recognition both at Federal and Provincial levels in Pakistan. Comprehensive National Curriculum on Early Childhood Education was revised in 2017 by Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training (MoFE&PT) with the aim to foster children’s overall well-being and ensuring the best possible conditions for growth and development in a conducive, child-friendly and all-inclusive environment. However, the most important aspect to promote ECD is the availability of well qualified and trained ECD professionals. Unfortunately, there is a huge gap in the demand and supply sides which is attributed to the lack of institutions and training centers which offer accredited courses in Early Childhood.
The pioneer Seminar on Early Childhood Development 2018 in Gilgit-Baltistan deliberated upon the challenges of mainstreaming Early Childhood Education in the education system, particularly in the context of Gilgit-Baltistan. Apart from policy reforms, the seminar also identified the need of qualified Early Childhood Educators/Teachers for improvement of service delivery. In the loom of these recommendations, Rupani Foundation and Karakoram International University signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a research and training center which will function under the Department of Educational Development, KIU. The immediate objective was to initiate 6 months certificate and 1-year diploma courses in ECD with the technical support of Rupani Foundation.
Rupani Foundation engaged internationally renowned ECD expert who formulated contextualize training modules and manuals for certificate and diploma courses in consultation with the Department of Educational Development, Karakorum International University. These modules included modern ECD approaches, theories, Child rights, development domains, and milestones, Nurturing Care Framework, ECD curriculum, Child Growth & Development, Assessment of a child’s early years, Multiple intelligences, classroom management, and practices etc. The first cadre of 14 masters’ was trained through an intensive 15 days ToT programme in April 2019. With the help of these master trainers, KIU and RF will jointly start diploma and certificate courses in Mid-June, 2018 in the main campus. This initiative will strengthen ECD initiatives at the grass-root level by providing much needed critical mass for service improvement in the sector.