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Concept of Early Childhood Education

Critical Literature Review

The Early Childhood Education is referred to the education branch which is related to formal and informal teaching of children from birth up to eight years of age (unicef.org, 2019). The increased understanding of human and psychological development is seen to have become sophisticated which has led the countries to develop an inclined focus on the significance of early childhood education (ECE) (Aras, 2016). According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the social, emotional and physical development of children occurs between 0 to 8 years of age. These years are critical because during this phase the young brains are developing more quickly and laying certain foundation at this stage is vital for the way the child is going to act through the rest of the life (WHO, 2019). Thus, Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs are being developed by various countries to educate the children to develop proper knowledge from early age.

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Importance of Early Childhood Education in the developing world

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) intervention has led the developing world to face many improvements in the foundation of academic success. In certain research by UNICEF, it is informed that return on investment for ECE for the developing countries can be as high as US$13 for each of dollar spent (unicef.org, 2019a). In addition, in the middle-income and lower-income countries in which high quality of ECE is present that allows more children to learn in the primary schools experiences significance out of the process is that it allows the individuals earn more than a quarter in wages while working as an adult in further stage within the country (unicef.org, 2019a). In the study by Bakken et al. (2017), it is informed that ECE is able to lower the inequality gap which is created just at birth. This is because it would lead to provide high-quality care and education to the child from birth which they are often unable to access due to social and economic issues making the country progress in lowering inequality between classes as well as within the population. The other study informs that, Garcia et al. (2018), ECE is important as in low-income countries it would provide opportunity for mothers to continue their education or work. This is because during the mother’s absence from the child as a result of work or education at the time the child would be educated and cared by the teachers in the ECE programs. Thus, this approach of ECE would offer added advantage for the family to incur finances as well as take care of the child.

Early Childhood Education (ECE) in the Developing Countries

Nepal

The education system in Nepal considers compulsory education to be provided to all individuals till grade 8 and the language used for providing education is Nepali and English. In 2016-17, it was found that out of the total population 11,607 were found to have some form of education in Nepal and among them 54% were undergraduate, 34% graduate, 2% Non-Degree holders and 10% OPT (wenr.wes.org, 2018). In 2018, the Government of Nepal was found to spend 5.16% of their total GDP (gross development product) for uplifting and managing educational purpose in the country (indexmundi.com, 2019). The Nepal government to encourage families to send their children to school in the rural areas have arranged mid-day meal program. According to the program, the children are provided free meal on attending school allowing the children to have healthy diet without any expenditure (myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com, 2018). Since most of the families in rural areas live under poverty, thus influencing them to send the children to school for education as well as free meal would make the families accept the condition as they are able to get assured that their children are able to have meal free of cost reducing their expenditure to feed the children which they often cannot afford properly due to financial constraints.

The Nepal government under the Nepal School Projects accepts grants and donations from people and overseas for using the finances to construct new school in the country (nepalschoolprojects.ca, 2018). The education in Nepal can bring a change within the country by lowering the huge socio-economic inequality present in the country. This is because with education the children in Nepal can be provided effective academic educations and skills required working professionally. It is going to act in turn acting to promote the economy of the country as well as lower the socioeconomic gap by allowing poor families through education to earn more to manage proper living and resolve financial constraints (). The Early Childhood Development (ECD) program is framed in Nepal to foster congenital learning environment for 3-5 years of children for helping them to develop social, mental and emotional skills. In Nepal, as a result of isolated nature of Nepalese mountain ranges, many local institutions are unable to be accessed by children that lead them to lack the ability to learn social skills and communication through proper assistance of teachers (volunteeringnepal.org, 2019). This has led the government of the nation to invest in the early childhood education with high consideration as it would allow them to provide education to the children in the rural and remote areas who are unable to avail education in school as a result of geographic barriers. The Volunteers Initiative Nepal (VIN) is seen to support nearly 30 early childhood education centres in different communities for improvising Nepal (volunteeringnepal.org, 2019).

The government in Nepal is seen to have considered early childhood education as high value as they are willing to invest through VIN nearly $700 to continue establishing more ECD centres in and around the country (volunteeringnepal.org, 2019). In addition, they have valued ECD is evident from one of the major activity such as the Nepal government has been trying to raise effective awareness through mass awareness campaigns among parents of children of 3-5 years of age regarding their child’s developmental needs in the early years (volunteeringnepal.org, 2019). The Nepal government through Volunteers Initiative Nepal (VIN) by 2012 have tried to strengthen the autonomous management and resource-oriented skills of schools or communities that are based on providing ECD to the children. Moreover, the training to teachers regarding the way to provide early childhood development education is provided as well as training is provided to the ECD management committees for running ECD centres in an effective manner by the VIN (volunteeringnepal.org, 2019). These activities indicate that the government of Nepal is trying to develop an effective and trained workforce for the ECD centres and considering early education is of high value for its people

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References

wenr.wes.org 2018, Education in Nepal, Available at: https://wenr.wes.org/2018/04/education-in-nepal [Accessed on: 20th January 2020]

nepalschoolprojects.ca 2018, Nepal School Projects, Available at: http://www.nepalschoolprojects.ca/ [Accessed on: 20th January 2020]

indexmundi.com 2019, Nepal - Public spending on education, Available at: https://www.indexmundi.com/facts/nepal/public-spending-on-education [Accessed on: 20th January 2020]

myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com 2018, Mid-day meal improves attendance of Kumal students, Available at: https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/mid-day-meal-improves-attendance-of-kumal-students/ [Accessed on: 20th January 2020]

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