Early Childhood Development (ECD) Basic Training Program in Parbat
SWAN conducted a 4-day ECD training for the facilitators of 11 ECD centers in Modi Khola Rural Municipality of Parbat District, previously a part of Tilahar VDC. The main objective of the training was to empower and upscale the teaching skills of ECD facilitators in order to help them explore innovative ways of teaching aimed at their holistic development. SWAN also provided furniture like cushions, tables, book racks, shoe racks and carpets to these centers in a bid to help create children-friendly infrastructure.
Krishna Acharya, Trainer from the District Education Office, Parbat said, 90% of the brain is developed within 5 years of age, and ECD facilitators teaching children of this age group should be skilled enough to handle them. He also highlighted the need of trained teachers in ECD Centers and their responsibility towards the kids- preparing them for school. Another Trainer, Prem Sharma said, The Government can't always reach out to these teachers and train them timely, that is why the step taken by SWAN to empower them is noteworthy. He went on to say that the facilitators had learned a lot from the training and were hopeful about the implementation of the same to help secure the child's future.
Amrita Lamichhane, ECD Teacher of Gyanendra Primary School opined that such training not only empowers them but also motivates and supports them to get involved in different teaching and learning methodologies. She added that with the training she has understood her responsibility to prepare young minds in a simple and super fun way.
During the training sessions, the ECD teachers were trained on different teaching techniques, ways of creating joyful learning atmosphere inside classes and were sensitized about their roles and responsibilities as teachers for kids aged 3 -5.
Sharmila Puri, an ECD teacher at the Mahindra Primary School said they had been teaching the kids in a conventional way and that there always was a teaching-learning gap between the kids and the teachers. She added that with the help of this training, teachers like her would be able to teach the children through games, songs, music, dance and role play. She also mentioned that there is dire need of such kind of timely training that keeps them updated on the new curriculum and teaching methods.
Lakshmi Baral, ECD Teacher of Shree Dimuwa Primary School expressed her concern over the critical need of parenting education in her community. She said parents are still unaware of the ECD concepts, they want their kids to recite all the alphabets and know mathematics by heart. They often visit us and ask us to give the kids more homework while this training motivates us to mainly teach the kids how to explore their five senses.
11 ECD teachers actively participated in the training and raised various concerns about ECD management, parenting education, child-friendly classes and the daily challenges they face as teachers.
At the last day of the training, SWAN also trained the principals and School Management Committee members along with the facilitators to sensitize them about the importance and the critical need for Early Childhood Development Program and its sustainability. Towards the end of the training, all the participating stakeholders made a joint commitment to continue their efforts in ensuring the basic rights of young children.
Also speaking at the closing session, Krishna Karki, Founder and Chairperson of SWAN said, SWAN has been able to impact 15 ECD Centers benefitting over 1,000 children working together with the District Education Office (DEO), Baglung. He further said that SWAN has introduced the same integrated ECD approach model in Parbat and would like to reach out to many other rural vulnerable communities and children.
By Prekshya Lamichhane Kunwar, Communication/Documentation Officer, Social Welfare Association of Nepal (SWAN)
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