Parvarish Early Childhood Development (ECD) Program
The Parvarish Program is a holistic nurturing early childhood development model used by Eagle Eye Educational Institute. Educated women from remote, isolated villages work as ECD teachers after a training program run by Eagle Eye. Parents of the young children are educated in how to provide a nourishing environment in the home to supplement the learning at the center. Most importantly, the children are they driving force by encouraging them to participate in activities that they are genuinely interested in as opposed to forcing activities onto them. The program prepares children from an early age for success at the primary level and beyond, while simultaneously generating income for educated women in the villages.
ECD Teacher Training and Centers
Eagle Eye has a 3-year strategic plan to open ECD centers throughout various villages in Chitral to provide quality Early Childhood Education through the Parvarish Program. With the support of Eagle Eye Educational Institute and its partners, graduates of the ECD Training Programs are encouraged to return to their villages and open ECD centers for local children. This also provides an income earning opportunity for these women, who can charge fees to their students. Five ECD centers were opened by teachers who attended the first Intensive Early Childhood Development Program organized in the Seen Lasht village in July 2019.
The 2-week program, organized by Yasmin Khan from Toronto, Ontario, trained 15 women from various villages in Early Childhood Development. The program focused on how to better engage 3 to 5 year-old children in an active learning environment in order to enhance their social, physical, emotional, cognitive, creative and moral development. Participants received classroom and hands on training, focused on learning about child development and the brain, preparing effective teaching aids and learning poems, stories and other creative and artistic activities in order to make learning interesting and engaging for children. Trainees presented practical lessons whereby encouraging the sharing of best practices and helping each other to enhance their capacities. They also receive basic training on on the business side of running their own ECD center.
Parents are a critical stakeholder in Eagle Eye’s early childhood education programs. They need to understand how children grow and learn. Eagle Eye has had the privilege of working with the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre (now SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health), a Canadian Institute in Early Childhood Development. Eagle Eye gained permission to translate its Learning Through Play (LTP) educational resources into Urdu and use them in ECD Centers in Chitral. LTP is an International Project aimed at improving 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.’https://www.sickkidscmh.ca/Home/Resources-And-Publications/Learning-through-Play/Learning-through-Play.aspx
In earlier ECD trainings, Eagle Eye introduced the LTP materials to both parents and ECD trainee teachers. As its long-term plan, Eagle Eye will encourage and assist teachers of the Parvarish ECD centres to use the LTP materials when meeting with parents, and to make additional 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.Learning Through Play (LTP)
Eagle Eye has also run English Language classes for secondary school students in the past.