Anganwadi has been assigned very important role in the National Education Policy, 2020 as one of the nodal points for early childhood care and education, the foundation of learning. As per New National Educational Policy,
Over 85% of a child’s cumulative brain development occurs prior to the age of 6, indicating the critical importance of appropriate care and stimulation of the brain in the early years in order to ensure healthy brain development and growth.
We are here talking about the cognitive development of child.
Now the question arises, if the Anganwadi head and Sahayak are well trained and equipped for this?
After reviewing the ECCE TRAINING MODULE FOR ANGANWADI WORKERS, I would say, it is well defined training module but still we are failing at reaching the desired outcomes.
- The student teacher ratio.
- Irregular trainings.
- More pen and paper work.
- Due to AD HOC based job, high level of exploitation is there.
- Tablets and other electronic items for e-learning are supposed to be given but it is not.
- Additional work definitely affects their efficiency as teacher.
- Paid too less according to their work load.
- Irregular payments.
So, for cognitive development of children of such tender age high level of efficiency is required. The government mentions the teacher student ratio 1:25 in Anganwadi but the harsh reality is; it is overcrowded.
Now in comparison of private pre-primary school where the teacher ratio is 2:20 including 1 sahayika has different outcome than the Anganwadi.
Anganwadi head with 1 sahayika is not only entitled with teaching learning process but additional work lowers their efficiency to work with kids.
We all know that children of 3-6 yrs. require lots of energy and attention. Hence, to get desired cognitive development among this age of children we need more well-trained teachers in pre-primary section.
Training Module for Anganwadi Workers:
Lots of activities have been mentioned using audio-visual aids but on the ground level teachers neither are they provided with tablets, mobile phones or internet and nor they are trained likewise.
Talking about the training, the regular trainings are given to Anganwadi regarding additional works like how to maintain record of vaccination, lactating mothers, pregnant women, polio duty, distribution of meals etc. Whereas handling and teaching is not given enough priority which is definitely going to hinder the development of children.
Basic Training for Head and Sahayikas:
Any training should begin with basic understanding of its requirement.
Here to achieve the desired goal the teacher and the sahayika need to be trained in following things regarding children:
- Separation issues.
- Anxiety and phobia problems.
- Eating and sleeping issues.
- Anger problem.
- Social issues and social development.
- Learning, communication and developmental issues.
- Challenging behavior like non-acceptance, hyperactivity, tantrums etc.
- Identifying clinical disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, global development delay, language disorders etc.
- Identifying children with learning difficulties.
- Identifying gifted children.
- Determining school readiness.
- Obsession and habits.
- Elective mutism.
- To understand child’s development and strength.
- Toilet issues.
Following developmental theories need to be added in training programs in forms of simple activities to understand the various stages of development.
In conclusion, if we need to achieve the educational goal at its maximum, we cannot ignore or take the Anganwadi for granted. We need to develop effective tools, training programmes and more child centric activities to bring the best out of them. At this stage the basic development is taking place, hence more emphasis is to be given so that we can create a strong base for primary and secondary education.