The Ministry of Women and Child Development is organizing a national event on key initiatives for strengthening Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) which is an important component of Mission Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 (Mission Poshan 2.0) and envisaged under the National Education Policy. The event, to be chaired by Union Minister for Women and Child Development (WCD) and Minority Affairs, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, will be organized at Vigyan Bhawan tomorrow i.e. on 10th May 2023.
The programme will also be addressed by Shri Munjpara Mahendrabhai, Minister of State MWCD; Shri Indevar Pandey, Secretary (WCD) and Shri Sanjay Kaul, Former Secretary, Dept of School Education, Govt. of Karnataka and Chairperson of the ECCE Task Force of the Ministry. Union Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani will deliver the Keynote Address. A panel discussion will highlight best ECCE practices from the States of Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Senior officers from Department of Women and Child Development/ Social Justice from all States/UTs and close to 800 ICDS functionaries, including CDPOs, Supervisors and Anganwadi Workers are expected to attend the programme.
The main objective of the event is to highlight the criticality of focusing on early childhood care and education. The Ministry of Women and Child Development is launching “Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi, a pathbreaking ECCE program to ensure that India has the world’s largest, universal, high-quality pre-school network, as suggested by the National Education Policy.
Speakers will sensitize attendees to this important need and highlight achievements under ECCE and Poshan. Participants will discuss key initiatives to extend capacity building support to Anganwadi workers for transforming the Anganwadi into a centre of pre-school learning. Master Trainers and Anganwadi Workers will use the platform to demonstrate various ECCE activities. Chairperson of the ECCE Taskforce constituted by the Ministry is expected to apprise participants on the key action steps recommended by the ECCE Taskforce.
Close to 13.9 lakh operational Anganwadi centres across the country are providing supplementary nutrition and early care and education to around 8 crore beneficiary children under the age of 6 years, making it the largest public provisioning of such services in the world. Considering global evidence on 85% of brain development being achieved by the age of 6 years, the Anganwadi eco-system becomes a critical access point for building our children’s base, in order to secure their future.
As per the guidelines of the National Education Policy 2020, with ‘Poshan bhi Padhai bhi, Government has taken up the goal of strengthening the foundations of the country’s future generations. Government will target children’s development in every domain mentioned in the National Curriculum Framework, viz., physical and motor development, cognitive development, socio-emotional-ethical development, cultural/artistic development, and the development of communication and early language, literacy, and numeracy. All States will follow the national ECCE taskforce recommendations for a play-based, activity-based learning pedagogy, targeted specifically at developmental milestones of 0-3-year olds as well as 3-6-year olds, including special support for Divyang children.
Through the changes introduced by the “Poshan bhi, Padhai bhi” ECCE policy, every child would be provided with at least two hours of high-quality pre-school instruction on a daily basis. As stated in the NEP, Anganwadi Centres will be strengthened with high-quality infrastructure, play equipment, and well-trained Anganwadi workers/teachers
Poshan bhi Padhai bhi will focus on promoting holistic and quality early stimulation and pre-primary education for children, ensuring the use of developmentally appropriate pedagogies and emphasizing the links with primary education as well as early childhood health and nutrition services. Poshan Bhi, Padhai Bhi program will provide for mother tongue as primary teacher instruction medium, different types of teaching-learning material (visual aids, audio aids, audio-visual and bodily-kinesthetic aids) to Anganwadi Sewikas, and help build a Jan Andolan, to involve communities in strengthening the foundations of the country’s future generations.