Early Childhood refers to the period from conception to 8 years of age – a most critical period for the development of competencies and for the gradual transition from pre-primary (up to 6 years) to primary (6-8 years) stage of education. Proper nurturance and support so as to ensure emotional and psychosocial well-being along with the fulfillment of the health and nutritional needs is also crucial at this time. The term education includes learning of competencies, skills, knowledge as well as preparing the child for a smooth entry into the formal school system. Early childhood is a critical period for the learning and acquisition of all basic competencies like language, cognition, attachment, basic trust, emotional development etc and researches have shown that the gains and losses in the trajectory of development made during these years are more or less irreversible. Studies have shown that quality ECE has a positive impact on future academic achievements, reduces dropout, and makes the child socially effective. Also, investment in ECE has long term benefits for the economic development of the community/country. Lack of quality ECE may also be implicated in the rampant malnourishment, high infant mortality rate and poor sex ratio as well as poor academic performance. Thus, ECE is an attempt to cater to the educational as well as the psychosocial needs of the child in a manner so as to ensure holistic development of the child so that he/ she can actualize his/her potential to the fullest and contribute to society in a meaningful and responsible way.
Certificate Course in ECE
NERIE has been running the certificate course in ECE from December 2013 to train professionals who can contribute in providing quality ECE that is culturally relevant. The course, now in its fourth year, is targeted at:
• Faculty from DIETS/ SCERTs and ICDS officials to act as Key Resource Persons to train the ECE functionaries of their states
• Nursery Teachers of training institutions and persons from NGOs catering to disadvantaged population of society.
• Persons interested in pursuing a career in Early Childhood Education
It aims at developing a cadre of resource persons who will be equipped with skills and knowledge for organising state level ECE training programmes and extension activities for generating awareness among communities about the need, significance and good quality ECE programmes, conducting training programmes for ECE functionaries, developing resource material for different levels of functionaries, preparing learning material for children and conducting research studies in the area of ECE.
Objectives of the Course
• To prepare professionals for providing quality ECE to the child
• To acquaint students with the various theoretical issues relating to ECE
• To train students in the application of knowledge about ECE
• To enable them to act as resource persons for furthering the knowledge about quality ECE
The above objectives are sought to be achieved through
• Intensive training on the theories of child growth and development and learning
• Sensitizing the trainees to the needs of infants and young children in the age group of 0-8 years
• Sensitizing the trainees to the effective and age appropriate teaching learning practices
• Capacity building in the research and advocacy of ECE- its theory and practice
• Training them in the skills of early identification of physical, psychosocial and mental problems so as to be sensitive to Children with Special Needs (CWSN).
The course structure and pedagogy
• The course consists of lectures for theoretical understanding, presentations and discussions, practical sessions for various skills for ECE and internship to practice the theory and skills learnt during the course. The course lays emphasis on practical hands on training
• Training in various ECE settings like anganwadis, crèches, pre-schools etc.
The course is divided into three phases as under
• First phase: Six weeks of theory and skill development at NERIE.
• Second phase: Five weeks of intensive internship in an ECE center. The internship consists of being attached to the ECE center and work on an area of choice. Emphasis would be placed on honing of skills learnt during the course rather than on research.
• Third Phase: The trainees would come back to NERIE for the last phase for examinations/ assessment and sharing of experiences.
• The course has a considerable focus on sensitizing the trainees to the needs of and interventions with CWSN (physical, cognitive or psychosocial)
For further details write to: prachi(dot)rd(at)gmail(dot)com