Jagran Josh published my opinion on ECCE — NEP 2020
National Education Policy 2020 brings to the fore exigent reforms in the education system of the country. One particular aspect which received scholarly attention as deserved is early childhood care and education (ECCE). Till now, we haven’t catered to a child’s need before s/he turns 6 years old. As if every child can magically perform equally when he/she enters school at the age of 6.
A child’s pre-school learning does play a significant role in the way a child performs at school; it gives the child a head-start over its peers. However, is it viable to coerce a child into the education system this early? Countries like Finland, whose education system is regarded as the best in the world, absorb a child in school only after he/she turns at least 7 years old.
It is believed that children should be allowed to have non-structured learning in the early ages of their life, and put in the structured environment of school after they turn seven. In the process of finding a solution to one issue, we might be inviting several other problems. It’s important for us to take the policy with a pinch of salt and address such paradoxes while we implement it.