14th May, 2015. The Early Childhood Development (ECD) project of CARE India’s Girls’ Education Program (GEP), in the districts of Korba and Janjgir in Chhattisgarh, is continuing to get the limelight in the State government. Enthused and overjoyed over the adoption of the three components of the ECD project by the Chhattisgarh Government for scale-up to the entire State, GEP continued its efforts to scale up other components of its program.

The three components of ECD that have been adopted are our bilingual books of local folk tales, Hindi Language instruction, and puzzles and lullabies; our detailed concept of  a monthly Children’s Fair meant both for parents and children, and related training for government workers on the concept of ECD; and our Early Childhood Education Workbooks.

In continuation of its efforts through the state government, GEP organised a learning visit of the Child Development Project Officers (CDPO) and Supervisors from all the 8 blocks of Janjgir district, to two CARE supported Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)centres called Anganwadi centres (AWC). CARE supports 100 such AWCs in the district. The objective of the visit was to give meaningful exposure to ICDS functionaries (CDPO and supervisors) to GEPs intervention in ICDS centres, and to provide insights on strategy to provide mentoring support to Anganwadi functionaries, and also to organize sector meetings with focus on early learning.

During the visit the concept of ECD was discussed, describing how the ECD centres are functioning differently from other centres.The visitors observed that the children at the centres were disciplined and participating in the activities very enthusiastically because of the ECD centres having a balance of age appropriate structured activities, free play for children and small group activities like drawing, blocks and other individual play. They appreciated that both the AWCs were decorated & equipped well with useful IEC material, chart posters, messages on Health and Nutrition, and drawing painting sheets which were developed by the children themselves.

They also recognised four distinct creative corners having dolls, toys, mirrors andbooks, and wooden blocks for children towalk and learn how to balance,and also clay art material to create different things. The interactions between AWWs and children was found to be very friendly, with most children attending to all tasks promptly and accurately. AWWs showed the attendance sheet marked by children themselves to show their attendance. 

Visitors enthusiastically observed, how the staff encouraged children to play, explore and discover more through an activity-based approach. Every child hadtheir own ‘Meri Patrika’, an individual progress card used to share the progress in the developmental domains with the parents. The visitors appreciated how parents could understand through illustrations that whether their child is attaining appropriate mental and physical growth,and is able to do the activities according to the age. 

The CDPOs and Supervisors appreciated CAREs approach and strategy, and committed to replicate similar activities in their respective sector AWCs.

GEP’s ECD strategy is now considered as a best practice by the State Government, and an order has been issued to all the sector supervisors to replicate this strategy in all the 1929 Anganwadicentres in the Janjgir district, which will touch 57,870 children in total. GEP is going ahead with a similar learning visit for functionaries in Korba district.

Dr. Suman Sachdeva
Technical Director (Education)
CARE India

Posted By : Suman Sachdeva