Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

It appears that we have not recognized the importance of early years learning. There is a mismatch between the target age, the policies, plans, and implementation of ECE in Pakistan. The policy covers the entire early childhood age of zero to eight years, but the implementation programs target at 4 -8 years children. Researchers agree that the children’s brain develops 90% at the age of 5, which means 0 to 4 years age is very crucial in brain development. If we recognize the fact then why 0 to 3 years children bracket is left out?

Article 25 A also neglects early years learning and concentrates on providing free and compulsory education to all children between age 5-16. In the 18th constitutional amendment in 2010 Sindh government under Act 2013 has extended this age group to include children age 3-5 years as well to provide free preschool education. Unfortunately, it also missed out 0 -3 years which can be done through homeschooling. Mothers need to be educated to take care of the social, moral, emotional, physical, and social development of their children.

Besides, ASER 2019 report mentioned that 61% of children aged 3-5 years are out of school.  This situation is very alarming for a country as these children are not even considered as out of school.  educational policymakers and government that how ECCE programs are running in Pakistan. We need to find answers to these questions and plan for the effective implication of ECCE policies and practices.

However, few elite schools in Pakistan are offering a head start program from 1 -5 of age, which is just a drop in the ocean. There is a need for immediate action to improve the ECCE policy and programs. There are could be several solutions to overcome the issues that hurdle the issues of dealing with the program. It should have been part of the one-curriculum and as well as part of the public education system. We do not need to make other authorities for it. We need to recognize its importance and prepare manpower to develop better policies and their implementation. The whole 0 to 8 years of age should be considered as ECCE age and combine homeschooling with formal schooling.

There is a need to ensure develop a strong relationship between ECCE policy and practices, and evaluate the processes implementing in early years’ classrooms at national, and provincial levels. Dealing with young children of early age is not the same as dealing with older children. It requires different competencies and attitudes. We do not see a lot of public sector institutes preparing ECCE caregivers in the country. This means we will not have quality men and women to implement ECCE programs in the near future.

By Naureen Masood

The writer is Specialist to Early Childhood Education & Social Studies

5 thoughts on “Early Childhood Care and Education in Pakistan: From policy to implementation”
  1. Well comprehend article. Pakistan needs more educationist like you, who are actually sincere about the children care as well as their education.

    1. I agreed with whole content.
      Early education is basic need of human. Strong foundation can help in building sustainable growth.
      One question arose in my mind about the children of beggars ?????

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