AKU's Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED) joins hands with Sindh Education and Literacy Department in collaboration with UNICEF to train existing 1500 Teachers for Early Childhood Care and Education in government schools in Sindh. Using a cascading model, 60 master trainers and 18 professional development teachers are being developed at AKU-IED who in turn will impart early childhood care and education training to the teachers in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpur Khas, Benazir Abad, Larkana, and Sukkur districts of Sindh.
This training is a means to operationalise the Provincial Strategic Plan to scale-up ECCE in Sindh in alignment with the Sindh Education Sector Plan 2019-24.
"We aim to prepare trained and qualified ECCE personnel who can ensure provision of high-quality, responsive, accessible, and inclusive early childhood care and education in Sindh, says Dr Almina Pardhan, Coordinator of ECED initiatives at AKU-IED.
The ECCE Training for Master Trainers is built on evidence and draws on current practice and needs of early childhood teachers in Pakistan. It has emerged from AKU-IED's work since 2002 in early childhood teacher education and intervention research which connects theory and practice in diverse classroom and school contexts. The training incorporates critical considerations from the ECCE Policy, ECCE Curriculum and ECCE Standards of the Sindh province.
The programme recognizes the complexity of young children's experiences and is, therefore, sensitive to contextual realities, gender, class, ethnicity, language and religion.
Reflective and critical thinking also forms an important part of the ECCE training to help the trainers improve their practices. Master Trainers' knowledge and skills of reflective and critical thinking about theory and practice will be enhanced through modelling; thereafter, they will impart these skills during the teacher trainings using the ECCE Training Manual as a guide.
The ECCE Training Manual for Master Trainers developed by ECED experts at AKU-IED consists of detailed, contextualised session plans drawing on best practice for early years educators. Each session plan integrates theory with engaging activities and actions for practice using interactive strategies.
The Training Manual will be translated into Sindhi and Urdu. An accompanying ECCE Teacher Guide is also being developed in English, Sindhi and Urdu. Master Trainers will be able to further train the teachers on how to use the ECCE Teacher Guide in their classrooms when they begin to teach.
A rigorous monitoring and evaluation procedure has been adopted to ensure quality programme delivery and to track outputs on a daily basis when the Master Trainers start training the teachers in the field.