Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 21:
There is a need for strong commitment of both the government and civil society organisations for the successful implementation of the National Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Policy adopted by the government of India, speakers said at a workshop organized by the Odisha-based organisation CLAP (Committee for Legal Aid to Poor) on the theme of mother tongue based Early Education for tribal children.
The ECCE policy adopted in 2013 is a significant milestone in the arena of policy development concerning young children in India as it aims at accomplishing holistic development and active learning capacity of all children below 6 years of age by promoting free, universal, inclusive, equitable, joyful and contextualized opportunities for laying the foundation for life-long learning.
However, the actual change in the quality of life of young children can be achieved through proper translation of policy provision into actions at the field level, the speakers at the workshop pointed out.
Speaking on the occasion, the executive president of CLAP, Dr Bikash Das observed that way back in 2002, the provision of ECCE was incorporated in Article 45 of the Constitution of India. Now the Constitutional mandate has been given a policy framework. The State is duty bound to invest more and develop mechanism for delivery of Services for young Children.
The National ECCE policy focuses on quality services and contains provision for monitoring, research, documentation, advocacy, partnership and increased investment for ‘Early Childhood Care and Education’. The policy calls for programme of action at the national level and annual implementation plan at the State level for its implementation.
The National ECCE Policy is supplemented with two other supportive framework such as Quality Standards for ECCE and National Curriculum framework for ECCE These policy documents together can contribute to the over all development of young children especially the tribal children. Since the policy advocates for mother tongue based Education emphasis should be given to provide pre-education in mother tongue to tribal children, Dr Das said.
Sudesna Sengupta, the National Convenor of Alliance on ECD said legal recognition of ECCE Services may help bring about accountability in the system.
The Chairperson of CYSD, Prafulla Sahoo, said the National Policy for the Children makes it incument on the State to take measures to provide universal and equitable access to quality ECCE.
Sukesi Oram, a former member of National Commission for Women, observed that the gender dimension in early education needs special attention towards enhancing girl child education.
Bhakta Batschal Mohanty offered Vote of thanks.
The workshop was attended by NGO’s working in Scheduled areas of Odisha.