Shillong, Dec 21: The Government of Meghalaya’s Social Welfare Department along with Sesame Workshop India, an educational non-profit committed to meet the early developmental needs of young children, SBI Foundation and SBI Life organized a workshop to review the state’s Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) curriculum.
Hosted at Asian Confluence, Laitumkhrah in Shillong, the workshop addressed the vision for early childhood development in Meghalaya, whole child curriculum and proposed an age-wise curriculum with goals, competence, thematic integration, and group work.
The recommendations made by Sesame Workshop India in consultation with ECCE experts are being reviewed by representatives of the Social Welfare Department, State Education department, ICDS, NCERT along with representatives from departments of Planning, Health, Community & Rural Development, Meghalaya State Rural Livelihood Society.
Speaking at the consultative workshop, Sampath Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya stated that the State is probably the first and only State in India to have initiated an Early Childhood Development (ECD) Mission.
“This is a holistic approach towards all round development of children starting from the preconception to the age of eighteen years,” Kumar said.
He also added that a collaborative approach is the need of the hour in as far as the implementation of the ECD mission in Meghalaya is concerned.
Kumar added that the ECD mission implementation in the State requires a collaborative approach from several departments, including the Health & Family Welfare, Social Welfare, Education, Community &Rural Development as well as the teachers and parents’ cooperation into materialization of this mission.
He also gave a detailed presentation of the Meghalaya ECD Mission.
It may be mentioned that Meghalaya’s ECD Mission is a multidisciplinary, research based approach which will not only lead to a holistic development of a child but also to overcome poverty and inter-generational gap.
The ECD mission focuses not only on the child but also on parents and propagates the 1000 days gap period in terms of birth spacing, including responsible parenthood, which is crucial for the well being of the mothers as well as the children.
The workshop witnessed the participation and interaction between several government and non-governmental stakeholders including those from the Health & Family Welfare, Social Welfare (Women & Child Development), Education, Community &Rural Development Department as well as teachers and educators from several schools including Pine Mount School and Shillong Public School.
Each department and representatives spoke about various levels of interventions being undertaken at their capacities and the challenges they face, including the gap that needs to be bridged towards implementation of the ECD mission at large in the State.
The need for working in collaboration instead of in silos while expanding the role of women Self Help Groups to leverage the mission was highlighted by the members.