Intervention for Promoting Pre-School Education
Deepak Foundation has been entrusted the responsibility of supporting and supervising activities of 40 Anganwadi Centers (AWC) under the ICDS scheme, Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Gujarat since 1996. Currently, the Foundation has been allocated 67 AWCs in Nandesari rural area. These anganwadi centres cater to the educational and nutritional needs of nearly 9,000 beneficiaries including children (0-6 years), pregnant and lactating women and adolescent girls.
Experiences in early years form the base for future development of children. In addition to providing regular paediatric medical check-up, treatment of severely under nourished children, and other value-added services, Deepak Foundation has initiated intervention for promotion of Early childhood Education (ECE). The main focus of the ECE intervention in 67 AWCs is to help develop specific competencies in children (3-5 years) during their early preschool years to help them enhance their social competence, adjust better in school and learn the skills of literacy and numeracy more effectively and in a more sustained manner. These competencies when developed improves the School Readiness of the children and hence their future academics.
To improve the school readiness among children by improving their developmental profile to help optimal learning when they start school.
- Undertaking and regularizing the pre-school education sessions by trained ECE counselor as per the well-designed, planned modules of the Government.
- Undertaking activities focused on 10 School Readiness Indicators ( Figure 1)
- Provision of age appropriate developmental educational material and toys
- Uniform distribution to inculcate a sense of discipline among the children
- Infrastructure refurbishment to provide conducive environment for ECE
A pre-post survey was conducted to assess School Readiness among 700 children aged 4-6 years, across five distinct but interconnected domains:
- Physical well-being and motor development;
- Social and emotional development;
- Approach to learning;
- Language development;
- Cognitive development and general knowledge
The tool used for the survey was adapted from “Mari Vikas Yatra”, ICDS Gujarat, DWCD Gujarat, UNICEF” & “School Readiness Instrument (SRI),” developed by The World Bank India, adapted by CECED, Delhi.
- About 800 children aged 3-6 years had received education sessions every month through 444 sessions conducted by the Counsellors.
- School readiness measured has been improved from 45.1% (Pre-Survey) to 86.7% (Post-Survey) among 700 children aged 4-6 years.