Newdelhi:12/5/23:Union Minister for Women and Child Development (WCD), Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, during a national event organized on strengthening Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) at Vigyan Bhavan on 10th May 2023, launched “Poshan Bhi, Padhai Bhi”, that is “Education along with nutrition”, in the presence of Shri Munjpara Mahendrabhai, Minister of State MWCD; Shri Indevar Pandey, Secretary (WCD) and Shri Sanjay Kaul, Chairperson of the ECCE Task Force of the Ministry.
In the presence of over 800 state representatives, ICDS functionaries, CDPOs, Supervisors, and Anganwadi workers, Union Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani delivered the keynote address. She highlighted Government’s commitment to ensuring holistic development of all children under the age of 6 years, with a focus on building their skills in the key development domains identified under the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP) viz., physical/motor, cognitive, socio-emotional-ethical, cultural/artistic, and the development of communication and early language, literacy and numeracy under ‘Poshan bhi Padhai bhi’
Secretary Shri Indevar Pandey, MWCD, building on the implications of “Poshan Bhi, Padhai Bhi” mentioned the endeavour of achieving 2 hour daily ECCE teaching in Anganwadi centres that will be delivered in the mother-tongue and aligned through state curricula to the National Curriculum Framework. He also underlined the collective responsibility for the holistic development of the country’s younger population, including early stimulation for children in the age group 0-3 years and the need to build Anganwadi centres into vibrant learning centres that children would look forward to attending. He stated that in this direction, a policy decision has been taken to convert all mini Anganwadi Centres in the country into full-fledged Anganwadi Centres.
Shri Mohd Zafar Khan, Deputy Director, ICDS, spoke about different initiatives in State of Uttar Pradesh like SAMBhav, Poshan Pathshala and a roadmap to reduce malnutrition. Reiterating Shri Sampath Kumar’s submission of need for transforming Anganwadi centres, he spoke of adding BaLa paintings, child friendly furniture, WiFi, LED TV etc.
Dr. Indurani Jakhar, Commissioner (Additional Charge), ICDS spoke about the best ECCE practices implemented in Maharashtra and underscored their strategy of triple A: Aarambh, Aakar, Ankur. Aakar deals with ECCE at the Anganwadi centre level and is a child centric preschool education program implemented since 2016. It focuses on a child’s holistic development through experimental learning and has shown enormous growth in learning outcomes over the last 5 years of its implementation.
Shri S.J. Chiru, Principal Secretary, Social Welfare & Women Empowerment brought to fore Tamil Nadu’s perspective where 54 thousand Anganwadi serve over 22 lakh children. Mentioning best practices, he spoke about the Aadi Paadi Vialyadu Pappa (APVP) program which is a developmental and age appropriate annual and contextualized curriculum where 11 child friendly-theme based activities (minute to minute programs) are distributed to Anganwadi workers.