Amima Sayeed

Report
Early Childhood Education
in Pakistan
The Quagmire of Policy, Practice and
Political Will
Amima Sayeed
April 4, 2012
Policies and Provisions:
What’s Been Achieved?

National Curriculum aligned with the
developmental domains

Contextualized, consultative and research based
Frameworks for classroom implementation in
rural and urban areas for ECE
 Specific policies for ECE introduction, budgetary
provisions and plans across Pakistan
 A fantastic mix of technical and grassroots
expertise for Teacher Education, follow-up and
support

Promised Policy Provisions in
Pakistan – 1998-2010




Recognition and strengthening of Katchi class as part of formal
system and opening of Katchi/ECE classes in the public sector
primary schools as the main strategy for increased access.
Full-time teachers for katchi class/pre-primary education will be
trained and recruited.
Curricula development for ECE and coordinate for development
of teaching-learning materials. Instructional material, teaching
kit and A.V. Aids for ECE will be developed and provided to ECE
centers and schools.
Free provision of Activity-based textbook (Qaaida) and other
learning material for pre-primary education
From NEP 2009 to RTE (Article
25-A)
Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for ECE is 99% in
2007-08 (despite 7.3 million out of school
children)
 At least one year pre-primary education shall be
provided by the State and universal access to
ECE shall be ensured within the next ten years.
 Provision of financial and food support to
children who drop out because of poverty at
ECE
 Two year pre-service training to ECE teachers
based on NCECE

Pre-Primary Enrolments by
Gender and Area (2006-07)
Male
Female
Total
Urban
304,286
295,873
6 00,159
Rural
2,200,350
1,755,209
3,955,559
Total
2,504,636
2,051,082
4,555,718
Source: AEPAM 2008
Reality Bites: On ground
Situation of ECE

Curriculum developed in 2007 has yet NOT reached all
districts of Pakistan let alone teachers


ECE is NOT included in the primary cycle with
implications on



Finalization and notification of Urdu version of the
Curriculum has not happened yet.
ECE regularization, New Staff Positions, financial
resources, monitoring & quality of learning
environment
Lack of accurate data required for planning ECE
programmes
No coordination, nodal points, focal persons and
budgets!
Developmentally Inappropriate Practices:
Out of the frying pan, into the fire
Out of School Children

Trapped if born into
illiteracy, disinformation and
poverty




No exposure to tools leading
to critical thinking
Societal trend of
disrespecting child’s views
and independence
Economic pressures, forced
and hazardous labour
Family disharmony,
experience of abuse
In –school Children






Hazardous physical
environment
Instruction not interaction or
engagement
If at all, unaware and illequipped teachers
Labeling, profiling, bullying –
set up for early failure
Damning emphasis on writing
& discipline!
Monolithic systems

Kills the innate creative
potential and diversity
Ensuring Strong Foundations at
Scale

Moving from franchised to contextualized
models
need for adapting the curriculum and classroom
resources for meeting the diverse needs of 38yrs
 calculating unit costs on the basis of essential
learning conditions and not just infrastructural
requirements


Striking a balance between “donor driven
activities”, “rapid pace of implementation” and
“taking stock of experiences”
Improvement of ECE Quality at
Scale
Immense need for developing deeper
understanding of “how learning takes place”
 Subtracting practices that are embedded in
behaviorist learning approach
 Developing learning webs within and outside
school to promote healthy relationships and
pro-social attitude
 Promoting a culture of reflective practice to
avoid mechanistic implementation of ECE
curriculum

Ensuring Strong Foundations
at Scale

Social and public accountability






People to ask the political leaders about the promises
before re-election
NGOs, Community Groups even School Committees must
push the government to fulfill its commitments
Tracking of funds transfer and per child/per school
allocation
Pulling the strings to push for ECE at individual,
institutional, taluka, district, provincial, sectoral and
national levels
Health, Social Welfare, Women’s Welfare and Education
ministries to align their targets and mechanisms
Academicians and researchers challenging the
inadequate plans and presenting BETTER options

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