By Rupani Foundation
The importance of Early Childhood Development (ECD) is getting recognition both at the Federal and Provincial levels in Pakistan. Comprehensive National Curriculum for Early Childhood Care & Education was revised in 2017 by the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training (MoFE&PT) with the aim to foster children’s overall wellbeing 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 Development
The two-day seminar on Early Childhood Development organized in 2018 in Gilgit-Baltistan deliberated upon the challenges of mainstreaming Early Childhood Care & Education in the education system, particularly in the context of Gilgit-Baltistan. Apart from policy reforms, the seminar also identified the need for qualified Early Childhood Educators/Teachers for improvement of service delivery. In the light of these recommendations, Rupani Foundation and the 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 from Rupani Foundation.
Rupani Foundation engaged an internationally renowned ECD expert who formulated context-specific training modules and manuals for certificate and diploma level courses in consultation with the Department of Educational Development, the 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 Training of Trainers’(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 activity will strengthen ECD initiatives at grassroots level, by providing a much needed critical mass factor for the service improvement in the sector.