The strategic reform in policies that focus on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), as proposed by the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, has prompted a call to realign the very structure of teaching-learning methods used to educate India’s young learners.
However, change cannot happen without people, organisations, and institutions learning from each other’s failures and success. Such a transformation requires open dialogue and a platform to collectively ask and learn from questions, problems, and solutions.
Currently, multiple challenges force our early education system to operate in silos. For example, two of the major early learning providers are handled by two different ministries within the government: Anganwadis fall under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme, which is run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, and ECCE is looked after by the Ministry of Education.
To see effective change, we need an interconnected and inclusive framework that links each element in the early childhood education landscape; we need learning communities.
What Are Learning Communities? The term ‘learning community’ indicates a group of people with similar academic goals and attitudes who collaborate regularly.
Why Is This Network Important? When all the people invested in early learning—key stakeholders including parents, teachers, principals, etc.—are able to work together, they will be able to build a network of knowledgeable individuals, thereby improving student outcomes.
- Facilitates the development of learning communities
- Stakeholders begin working together as equal partners
- A support system is formed that provides the means for early childhood innovators to set goals and share results
- Such a network builds the framework for professional development and teaching-learning opportunities
- Cultivates not only leaders, but also ideas
As our ECCE experience has taught us, such learning communities are crucial in ensuring the creation of a robust and healthy early learning landscape. That is why Square Panda India is building a community with each stakeholder in the Indian early education ecosystem — Anganwadi Workers, pre-primary and primary teachers, parents, and others who care about early education.
The following initiatives are examples of our active learning communities:
#1: Square Panda Thursdays
Educators are visionaries inspiring change in their students’ lives, shaping them for the future. Their passion and dedication influenced us, and a fun educational idea was born!
Picking up where our previous educational talks (Square Panda Sundays) left off, our new series is honouring the commitment of early years educators towards early childhood development. Each Thursday, we delve into insightful topics and discussions with early learning expert Ms. Sonia Relia (Author of MY LEARNING TRAIN-Activity-Based Series for Early Years, and Developer Activity-Based Learning Programs – KINOLEARN, KINOPHONICS).
*Catch next week’s talk on ‘Connecting Heart, Head, Hand – The Need for Activities and Play in Early Years’ live, on March 18th at 5 pm, only on Facebook @SquarePandaIndia
#2: Behind Every Step
This inspiring series celebrates each contributor (teachers/parents/other stakeholders) who stands behind young learners, supporting them as they take their first steps along their educational journey. Each week, we showcase inspiring tales from educators, children, parents, and other ECCE stakeholders across our social media platforms.
Teachers, Parents, Early Educators, other early learning stakeholders, we want to hear from you! Tell us the motivating/inspirational story behind your journey, what made you become a part of this community, how you support children as they take their first learning steps, and more. Send us your tales via DM, and we will share them across our channels.
We recognise the value each stakeholder holds and how this impacts the ECCE ecosystem. Our online programs, together with our early learning initiative Aarambh, are specially designed to enhance each person’s impact and build a supportive learning community.
*Aarambh empowers all stakeholders in the early learning ecosystem through NEP 2020-aligned programs. Learn more: ecce.squarepanda.in