Meet Maaz. He is 4 years old and lives in a low-income community in Rajendranagar, Bangalore. He studies in LKG. He lives with his parents and 2 older sisters. He knows his ABCs and can count to 100. He also does 2 hours of homework every day and his parents believe that he will go on to do exceptionally well in school.
Though Maaz knows ABC he can't spell or read any words.
Maaz does not understand the concept of a number though he can count to 100!
Maaz struggles to hold the pencil while doing his homework.
What Maaz needs to achieve his dreams is a holistic quality Early childhood education and support at school and at home. Schools and families in low-income communities often do not know what it takes to provide quality Early childhood education as a foundation for their children’s education.
There are over a million children like Maaz in India who need support during their early childhood years.
Research from economics, neuroscience and education has demonstrated that maximum brain development occurs between the ages of 0-6 and that quality ECE is critical in determining a child’s life outcomes in terms of health and income levels. Further evidence also links ECE to social returns such as lower crime rates and better citizenship. Quality ECE also leads to better learning outcomes in early primary grades in the short term.
Unfortunately, ECE is one one of the most unregulated space in Indian Education system. Lack of skilled teachers, unstructured curriculum, concerning educational infrastructure and various other problems leads to inappropriate development in the child which eventually leads to a later spiralling problem of lower academic grade, unmanagable academic pressure and early dropouts. (especially in the lower income community).
We at Key Education Foundation through our School Readiness Program want to shift this paradigm by supporting and training the key stakeholders which are the teachers, school leaders/owners and parents.
- We support teachers by training them on the age appropriate pedagogy and support them with tools and skills so that they are the best in the classroom.
- We support parents by empowering and training them to be a joint partner in their child's education.
- We sensitise school owners/principal on the need for a quality ECE and thus push them to give ECE its due importance. We also provide Teaching learning materials(ECE kit) to ensure an enriching environment in the school.
We dream of an India, where every child irrespective of their caste, religion, or economic status gets an equal chance to excel in their educational journey and a better chance at life.