The development and government sector are facing challenges in early childhood development on different phases including early education. Early childhood education is commonly known as nursery education, ECE is also known as the teaching of children from the day of birth to eight years old, three years at home, two years in pre-primary stage and three years of primary school education.
Early Childhood Development:
The holistic development of children at an early age from birth to 8 years, on multiple dimensions of their well-being. Which is including the nutritious food practices, psycho-social well-being, physical health, social norms, emotional, potential, intellectual development, safety, security, and formal education.
Early childhood development means the stage that children learn the basics of life and society. The stage which needs more focused on all activities which the child is hearing, seeing, and doing. Early childhood development is a process that is very important for every child. It is the prime responsibility of parents (especially mothers and fathers) to understand the child’s learning capacity. Because all the children are not equal by their mental capacity (as a human all are equal). Some of them are slow learner and some are very active and fast learners. Parents must plan the early childhood development milestone for their children and monitor and review that seriously regularly.
According to some research, there is two factors influence how a child succeeds and grows, one is genetic makeup and the other one is the environment. Genetic makeup is the blueprint of the characteristics the child has. We have not full control over that because that is natural but the other one is an environment that is totally in our control. The environment also affects the child’s genetic makeup too.
According to different child development studies, children develop skills in five different areas. 1. Cognitive Development, 2. Social and Emotional Development, 3. Speech and Language Development, 4. Fine Motor Skill Development and 5. Gross Motor Skill Development.
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Early Childhood Development has been included in Sustainable Development Goals and now it is a national and global priority.
As it is a very critical and sensitive stage of life, during the same time child try to learn many types of things parallel to most rapid growth in the body and brain development. At this stage the environment of family, home, street, school and area highly influenced in childhood development and character building of that child.
Challenges in Early Childhood Development:
Nowadays, our region is facing so many challenges in early childhood development. Which includes an equal system, social, environmental, economic, cultural, traditional, political, and financial as well.
The provision of educational services in the public sector is limited due following factors;
- lack of resources,
- weak governance,
- low prioritization and marginal political commitment,
- weak school organization and management.
- Shortage of well-functioning schools,
- poor infrastructure of existing schools,
- the absence of meaningful community involvement has resulted in low levels of school participation,
- high drop-out rates,
- inadequate student learning outcomes,
The growth of private schools that are often unregulated, also, there is no early childhood development or education system that exists in the rural area of our region.
According to Government policies, the government has introduced pre-primary education but there is no existing system of enrollment, the curriculum for pre-primary, attendance of pre-primary students, spaces (schools’ buildings), and capacity building of teachers on early childhood development.
Only the private sector which exists in the urban area providing these facilities, but these are not affordable for rural communities. So many children are under education in the one-room school, without any boundary and WASH facility. The poverty, natural disasters, politicized education system and unreliable income sources of the rural community has affected the early childhood development in our region.
Income generation activities are on top priority, education most the least priority, and the community is totally unaware of early childhood development. It has been observed that most of the parents come to school for enrollment of their children at the age of 6 to 7 years with a predetermined mind that child will be enrolled in 1st class because they are unaware and don’t know the importance of pre-primary education, which is the base of early childhood development.
In this situation establishing and operating an early childhood, development facility further creates more challenges such as resource mobilization, infrastructure development, capacity building of faculty, community behavior change management, and most important is government rules and regulations.
Most Critical Challenges:
According to the experience in the educational sector, the most critical challenges in early childhood development are following;
- poor quality education,
- lack of access to education,
- untrained teaching faculty (capacity of staff),
- active involvement of School Management Committees (SMCs),
- the weak education system, politicized education department,
- budgetary constraints,
- weak governance,
- Unavailability of facilities,
- lack of awareness,
- No of involvement and engagement of parents,
- early intervention for high-risk children and families
- most important is research on child development.
A child-friendly environment plays a key role in character and personality building and our region is lacking in providing a suitable environment for the child at an early age. Besides this lack of resource mobilizing and planning is a serious issue in challenges to early childhood development. When we understand that this stage is the most important phase of the life of every child so therefore it needs urgent attention to finding the proper solution.
First of all, the strong and realist education policy for early childhood development should be developed and implement on an urgent basis, through following the Education for All 2000, National Action Plan 2003 which guides pre-primary education. The policy should emphasize the strong concept of early childhood development.
The non-government organization can play its role in community awareness, advocacy for resource mobilization for early childhood development programs, and strengthening the capacity of the education department, SMCs, and teaching faculty.
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Last Updated: May 25, 2020