ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The first-ever two-day National Conference on Early Childhood Care and Pre-primary Education (ECCE) started at Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) in Islamabad on Monday.
The conference was arranged by Early Childhood Development Network of Pakistan (ECDNP), Ministry of Education, AIOU and some NGOs.
Speaking at the inaugural session as a chief guest, Minister of Education Engineer Muhammad Baligh ur Rahman said that federal government in collaboration with the provinces will take steps for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE).
He said the government has initiated a pilot project by opening of montessori classes at eleven schools of the capital which have given outstanding feedback.
The minister said that nutrition and characterization of a children in early childhood was mandatory before education.
The quality of education and ECCE, he said, were mandatory to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
There was an improvement in law & order situation in the country by the efforts of the present government while energy, economic and education sector were also on the path of development, the minister added.
He hoped that ECCE conference will come out concrete recommendations for better education in the country.
Earlier, in his address, Vice Chancellor AIOU Professor Dr Shahid Siddiqui said the event was highly significant since it brings all the stake-holders together on one platform to evolve future road-map taking care of children at their early age.
The event was arranged aimed at promoting holistic early childhood care and education for Pakistan and creating an equitable, pluralistic and sustainable society.
Reiterating the AIOU’s commitment with the cause of children, Dr Shahid Siddiqui said the AIOU hosted such an events on regular basis to keep up the childcare’s endeavor.
A research journal on early childhood will be published by the end of this year to provide academic input in this task of nation-building and a have better future.
This year, the University will also offer special certificate course on early childhood. It has also been planned to introduce this subject at BSc level, he added.