Smriti Irani, the Union Minister of Women and Child Development, launched early childhood education modules for Anganwadi, called “Poshan bhi Padhai bhi” in accordance with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. These modules are aimed at children aged 3 to 6 years who are enrolled in Anganwadi centers, emphasizing the importance of early childhood care and foundational learning. The launch event highlighted that a child’s brain development is over 85% complete before the age of 6.
Union Minister Smriti Irani Introduces ECCE Modules for Anganwadi Centers in Line with NEP 2020
During the media briefing, Minister Irani stated that the Ministry of Women and Child Development established an Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Task Force, which has already submitted its report. The task force recommended training Anganwadi workers in the new module. The proposed training process under “Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi” is estimated to receive an allocation of ₹600 crores.
The ECCE Task Force’s recommendations include a 3-day in-person training for capacity-building, follow-up refresher training, provision of fresh Teaching Learning Material (TLM) such as activity books and toys, and workshops on the usage and creation of toys. The objective is to transform anganwadi centers into educational institutions rather than solely focusing on nutrition.
Smriti Irani Allocates ₹600 Crore for Training Anganwadi Workers in Early Child Education
India has approximately 14 lakh anganwadi centers, serving 10,02,60,464 beneficiaries. The “Poshan Bhi Padhai Bhi” modules are currently being tested in seven states, with over 1.5 million parents participating in the evaluation process. The Ministry of Women and Child Development, through the Office of the Secretary WCD, conducted both virtual and physical conferences with state government representatives to ensure that the training program for the module is developed in collaboration with various stakeholders.
In addition, the Ministry will collaborate with the Ministry of Social Justice and other state ministries to develop learning material tailored for children with special needs. Anganwadi helpers, apart from assisting in parental counseling and facilitating children’s enrollment, will also contribute to creating innovative approaches to early childhood development for children with disabilities.
The launch of these early childhood education modules reflects the government’s commitment to holistic child development and aligns with the objectives of the NEP 2020. By focusing on the crucial early years of a child’s life, these initiatives aim to lay a strong foundation for their future educational journey.