We know from evidence of neuroscience that early childhood is critical years for learning and development to know how children grow up in the later years- Dr. Sunita Singh
When children are young, they are learning sponges. Every new experience, every word they learn, every behavior they adopt, is an investment in a more fruitful future. You can never have a greater impression on a person than when they are in their early childhood years.
In an exclusive interview with the Director & Associate Professor, Ambedkar University, Delhi, where she spoke about the importance of nurturing a child since the early childhood days.
Being an expert in Childhood Learning and Development, how according to you, is India changing Childhood Learning from before and how can we bring a disruption when it comes to Education?
Talking about Education at home, and having said that, We understand that it is important as educators, to provide an optimal environment for the child to grow and develop at birth which means early stimulation which can be done in many forms like talking to the child, using expressions, using various educational toys becomes very important for the development and growth even many years later.
When it comes to the Indian society, it was mentioned that we have not though at all about early childhood education and it is very obvious in the programs out there in the country. So, there is still something out there for 3-6 years but there is practically nothing for the same which happens to be a very crucial age for the kids.
We also know that there is also a lot of pressure when a child goes to the 1st Standard. What we fail to understand the kind of experiences we are able to provide to the child from birth to 8 years is what is going to influence learning in the 1st Standard.. We need to understand that creating the right environment for Learning and Development of the child cannot be dependent on one factor. It has to be a work between families, schools and communities.
Another in terms of the context, while we know in 2013, we got the national policy on early Childhood Care and Education which has been a landmark Development in the Indian context. We have to also remember that in 2009, we had the landmark, ‘Right To Education Act’, which has also enabled a lot of first generation learners coming into our classrooms and it has intensely diversified our classrooms.
When we talk about ourselves as middle class individuals coming into the school system, we didn’t have any problem because we hardly received any education from our parents or teachers but we learned anyway. We forget that we came with that environment in the education system and we already got the motivation to enter. Talking about the first generation learners, their support system lies in providing early childhood programs and carries the society forward.