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Early Childhood Education (ECE)

Humans are exceptional in that most of their brain development occurs outside the womb, under the supervision of adults, and occurs mostly between the ages of three and five. Physical, linguistic, intellectual, and emotional development occur rapidly throughout the first few years of a child’s existence. In what ways does our educational system take into account this formative time for each individual?

Realizing the significance of Early Childhood Education (ECE), the Pakistani government stated in 2002 its intention to “formalize” katchi and develop an ECE curriculum. A National Plan of Action (NPA) for Education for All (2001-2015) has been developed by the Ministry of Education. ECE was also part of the National Plan of Action of Education for All. The National Education Policy 2009 also acknowledged the significance of ECE. It pledged to ensure that all public schools provide pre-primary Education for at least one year, with dedicated funding and specialized training for instructors.NEP-2009 was a watershed moment in the effort to mainstream preschool education at public institutions of higher learning. For the first time in Pakistan’s history, province and district administrations have had access to funds for Early Childhood Education (ECE) as part of the Education Sector Reforms initiative.

After the adoption of the 18th amendment, ECE has emerged as a top priority not only at the national level but also at the provincial level. In 2015, Sindh established its Early Childhood Care and Education Policy. Punjab followed Sindh’s lead in 2017 by establishing an Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) program. The 2020 Single National Curriculum placed Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) into the wider framework of Education for All (EFA) goals. While it uses the same ECCE structure as the 2017 Punjab ECE Curriculum, the SNC does not use any new findings from research into the early years.

CREDP envisions that Education for young children focuses on the formative years of schooling. Early childhood education (ECE) includes various pre-kindergarten activities and experiences designed to help children grow and mature in preparation for a formal class, grade or primary school. Children undergo a process of development, or evolution, as they acquire and apply more sophisticated knowledge about the people, things, and circumstances in their surroundings as they grow in size.