National Conference on School Readiness titled “Ensuring Foundation, Enhancing Learning” held on October 20-21, 2016

A two days’ National Conference on School Readiness was organized titled “Ensuring Foundation, Enhancing Learning” on 20th-21st October, 2016 by Centre for Early Childhood Education and Development (CECED), Ambedkar University Delhi at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The conference was being jointly sponsored by UNICEF and Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).

The inaugural address at the conference was given by the invited Chief Guest, Mr. Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister, Government of NCT of Delhi. The key note address on 20 Oct, 2016 was given by an eminent academic, Prof Jere R Behrman. The key presenters at the said conference also included Dr. Shashi Panja, Minister-of-state (Independent Charge) Child Development and Women Development and Social Welfare, and MoS Health & Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal; Mr. Nand Kumar, IAS, Principal Secretary, School of Education and Sports, Government of Maharashtra, Dr. Samit Sharma, IAS, Director of ICDS, Rajasthan, and many professionals and NGOs, among other eminent educationists and academicians from National and International academic fraternity.

There are two reasons why this national conference is important. The subject of the conference is very relevant and the Govt. of Delhi is already working on an action plan and implementing it”, said Mr. Manish Sisodia in his inaugural speech.

He also said that ten pilot early childhood development centres will be launched within a month at select locations in Delhi. Currently, there’s a learning gap between children and teachers. There’s no basic understanding among kids, no motivation. Existing pre-primary education focuses on nutrition and healthcare of mother and child. Our pre-primary development centres will focus on activities such as exploring the brain and heart. Mr. Sisodia further added that the he is also interested to induct CECED, Ambedkar University Delhi as a technical partner in bringing up these 10 ECCE centres as pilot centres in Delhi urgently. Here is the link to the video of the inaugural speech for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU3sjHeEH5Y

Based on evidence from a recently completed longitudinal CECED-ASER research, the Conference highlights the key relationship between low learning levels in primary grades, which is today a national concern, with the fact that children are coming into school at age 5 without adequate school readiness levels. The research further establishes that even one year of preschool education when the child is 4 to 5 year old can make a significant difference to the child’s school readiness or foundation for primary schooling and the need for upward continuity of curriculum and a child friendly environment for children from preschool to primary.

Speaking at the conference, Venita Kaul, Director, CECED, Ambedkar University Delhi pointed out that little children need to play not study. Learning is different from studying. There should no force on them. They should be able to choose what they want – study or play. Learning can happen through story telling, programmes and various other activities. One should encourage decision making activities.

The conference was planned around the concept of school readiness from a three-fold perspective: (a) Are children ready for school? (b) Are schools ready for children and (c) Are families ready and enabled to help children prepare for school? 

The two days national conference, which hosted more than 200 participants from across India, provided a significant opportunity to witness a range of thought provoking panel discussions, thematic presentations of innovative practices in states, idea sharing sessions, guided poster presentation sessions and much more from a host of renowned national and international speakers, panelists, discussants and others who presented diverse perspectives on this issue. The conference was also be available through webcast for those who could not be a part of the event in-person. The links to the recorded sessions of the two days conference is given below.

Webcast Video Day 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwGAwpVwmAQ

Webcast Video Day 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9aKM8soyjY

Webcast Video Day 2 (Closing Ceremony): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCptRWazw34

further information, please write to:

Centre for Early Childhood Education and Development (CECED)
Room No. 307, Admin Block
Ambedkar University Delhi
Lothian Road, Kashmere Gate Campus,
Email: cecedconference@gmail.com
Web: www.ceced.net, www.ecceportal.in, www.aud.ac.in
Phone: +91 7835919392