Early Childhood Development (ECD)
Parvarish is a holistic nurturing early childhood development education program of the EEEI. 3-5 year old children, unemployed educated women in isolated villages and parents of young children are three pillars of this holistic nurturing strategy. It prepares children at an early age to ensure their success at the primary level and beyond, providing income generating opportunity for women in the villages who are educated but unemployed.
ECD Teacher Training
EEEI concluded in July 2019 an
Intensive Early Childhood Development Program organized at Seen Lasht, Chitral.
15 women teachers participated in the 2 week program consisting of 125 hours
and received hands on training in how to engage 3-5 year old children in an
active learning environment so as to enhance their social, physical, emotional,
cognitive, creative and moral development. These participates, belonging to
various villages in Chitral were involved in learning about the brain, child
development, preparing effective teaching aids, learning poems and stories,
creative and artistic activities, etc. – all in an effort to make learning
interesting and engaging for children. They presented practical lessons whereby
helping each other to enhance their capacities.
The trainee teachers eagerly participated in the program with enthusiasm and were actively engaged. The visiting Consultant from Toronto, Canada, Ms. Yasmin Khan who travelled to Chitral to share best practices was very impressed by the eagerness and commitment of the participants. She worked with a highly motivated local faculty of ECD trainers.
This ECD training program was part of a Five Year Strategic Plan of EEEI which aims to provide quality Early Childhood Education at the village level through its PARVARISH Program. Six ECD canters will be set up this year by the graduating teachers with management support from EEEI.
Parents are a critical stakeholder in the EEEI’s early childhood education programs. In their role, they not only decide and support to bring their children to ECD Centres, they are also expected to enhance their children’s experience at home by passing on the values in nourishing family environment. They themselves need to know how children grow and learn.
EEEI had the privilege to have permission of the Hincks-Dellcrest (now SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health), a Canadian Institute in Early Childhood Development, to translate into Urdu and use its Learning Through Play (LTP) educational resources. LTP is an International Project to improve the health and well-being of children and their long-term mental health development. ‘The objectives of the LTP program are: (a) to provide parents with information on the healthy growth and development of young children (birth to 6 years), focussing on the physical, intellectual, linguistic, and socio-emotional aspects of development; (b) to teach parents play activities that enhance child development; and c) to promote attachment through active parental involvement in their child’s development.’
EEEI in its earlier ECD trainings, introduced the LTP materials both to parents and ECD trainee teachers. As its long term plan, EEEI will encourage and assist teachers of the Parvarish ECD centres to use the LTP materials in their parents meetings and make presentations to their respective local communities. An excerpt from LTP material stats:
Current research shows that early childhood experiences have a major impact on brain structure. These early experiences literally shape the way children learn, think, behave, and interact with others throughout the course of their lifetime. Parents around the world want their children to develop this capacity to thrive. As such, it is important that parents and caregivers understand the essential role they play in contributing to the promotion of holistic and healthy development in their children from birth to 6 years of age. In addition, healthy child development may reduce the risk of adverse developmental outcomes and the need for more costly interventions later in life.
EEEI has run English Language classes for higher secondary school students in the past. In recent years, there has been spike in youth suicide cases in Chitral. One of the main reasons as reported in the media has been academic poor performance. Poor academic performance and lack of associated knowledge and skills leads to unemployment and depression with grave consequences. EEEI is in process of planning an annual youth conference to highlight the issue and seek solution to youth problem through the youths of Chitral.