Last week, a diploma course was launched and actively publicised by the government of Delhi with the aim of building up more skilled and dedicated staff members for the 3000 proposed education centres for early childhood in Delhi. The course would have about 450 academic seats for applicants in the first year and would be offered by nine of the District Institutes of Education and Training, or DIET as they have been come to be known from the coming academic year.
Earlier, the government had mentioned plans of starting the Early Childhood Education Development Programme, or ECED, at a massive scale with almost 3000 centres, not unlike the current number for the diploma programme, across the area of the national capital city. To address the concerns regarding whether the capacity in terms of capable, suitable and qualified staff exists to teach at the pre-school level, this diploma programme has been initiated in a very forethinking and inspired manner.
The Launch of this Programme
The Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia was responsible for announcing this course at its launch. He was clear in saying that the success of this plan of opening over 3000 ECEDs depended massively the ability to build up the human aspect in terms of qualified staff and team members to handle the children and guide them.
He talked about how the government of Delhi takes this plan and ideal very seriously and does recognize that merely announcing such a grand scheme does not guarantee its success. Instead he mentioned the need to create these educational foundations and programmes which would in turn help in the success of the 3000 centres marked out as ECEDs. The parallel building and nurturing of the human talent that would go into these centres in of paramount importance.
This according to Sisodia, was indeed the main purpose of launching the Diploma programme in the capital. The press release given out at the event also quoted him as saying that the early pre-school education time, which in fact covers the first three to six years of a child’s educational life, was the most important in terms of foundational education. The interactions and learning that occurs at this age is amongst the most important in the development of social skills, fine motor abilities, basic recognition and learning ability and it would go on to greatly affect how a child would then perform later in life.
It is essential thus, that in order to ensure that all children are afforded similar opportunities in terms of education, that such centres like ECEDs be as well-equipped in terms of staff and their teaching methodology as possible. While many states have attempted this at a very basic level through the concept of aanganwadis, such a structured and thought out approach has yet to be seen.
All this comes at a time when the government in Delhi has been seriously criticized for not putting enough time, effort and money into the focus of education within the capital. This introduction of such a programme which seems to be far more than a populous move is one which could start to rebuild trust with the constituents in Delhi and how they feel about how well the government has been working for them. The long terms nature of this move is also one that will give citizens a cause for admiration.