As the National Center for Learning Resources program at ICRI Nepal continues to grow, it has received recognition and great interest from educators and child advocates interested in learning more about this innovative approach to increasing access to high quality early childhood education. ICRI Nepal Country Director Dhirendra Lamsal was recently invited to present a paper on the project at the South Asia Regional Conference on Early Childhood Development. From ICRI Nepal:
"Mr. Dhirendra Lamsal, the Country Director of International Child Resource Institute-Nepal (ICRI-Nepal) and presented a paper entitled “An Insight into an Innovative Early Care and Education Program Implemented in Public/Private ECD Centers in Nepal” under the theme of Program Transition, Quality, Content, Model and Innovation during the first South Asia Regional Confernce on Early Childhood Development held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on and from December 7-9, 2010. The Conference was jointly organized by the Bangladesh ECD Network (BEN) and the Asia Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC). Besides seven plenary sessions, a total of 24 papers were presented under the theme of (i) ECD Policy, Advocacy and Networking, (ii) Program Transition, Quality, Content, Model, Innovation (iii) Inclusion, Equity and Resources (iv) Capacity Building and Professional Development including ECD Programs presented by posters (Ref: programs, abstracts presenters).
Mr. Lamsal in his presentation illuminated the effectiveness of early care and educational services delivered by International Child Resource Institute-Nepal in 19 public and private ECD Centers in Nepal. He provided an insight for transformation of dull, un-stimulating, un-interative, rudimentary teaching practices into stimulating, joyful, meaninigful and creative learning environment for the yough children. Mr. Lamsal undrlined on how ECD-pedagogy could be transformed into daily care and education of young children with concurrent focus on how holistic development of a young child is possible in a resource poor setting. Also, he expained about community driven methods to respond to the program implementation level challenges during the presentation. Likewise, he discussed the process of taking care of young children at home and their further education in school (ECD) set-up by highlighting major gaps to be bridged by the parents at homes and the ECD facilitators at the school environment. The before and after scenario of the ECD program intervention was illustrated with successful case study of a few children served by ICRI-Nepal. Key lessons and learnings documented during this intervention with reflection on major outcomes/outputs and programmatic experiences were broadly shared during this occassion. Furthermore, the overall program goals, objectives, strategies, and activities as well as needs of up scaling the program areas, beneficiaries, stakeholders and key tools for replication of this program in other parts of the country was also discussed.
Finally, he summed up his presentation sharing a range of positive findings such as decreased drop-out rates in the ECD centers, increased understanding of the community about ECD program, and developed sense of ownership, roles and responsibilities of the community including School Management Committee in the areas of program intervention."
Congratulations Dhirendra on your successful presentation, and on the innovative work you are doing to improve the lives of children and families in Nepal!