quarta-feira, 10 de março de 2010

Contribua com debate sobre Educação para Primeira Infância na Índia

* Encaminhado por Maria Thereza Marcílio. Texto em inglês.


The subject of ECCE as a fundamental right has been posted on the Education Solution Exchange of UNESCO for discussion. Please do take a little time off within the next ten days to respond to the questions below in the interest of demonstrating that we care for ECCE and the young child and want it to be a PRIORITY. If there is an overwhelming respone it will send a signal to UNESCO and other partners the need to make ECCE an important theme for advoacy and discussion.

Please send your responses to the following email ids:

Look forward to a great response!!
venita kaul
A note written by Dr Venita Kaul (a highly respected stalwart in the field of ECCE) which elaborates on India's background vis a vis ECCE:
I work for Center for Early Childhood Education and Development (CECED), which is located in Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD). CECED’s mission is to contribute to the national goals of social justice and equity by advocating for and promoting every child’s right to a sound foundation for life, through contextually appropriate and inclusive ECED and to place ECED in the forefront of policy formulation and effective programme implementation.

After a long battle, education has become the fundamental right for children in the age group of 6-14 years. However, the Right to Education Act has left out the very important age group of children below 6 years. The reason given is the fact that 86th Constitutional Amendment and its Article 21A through which right to education was accepted as a fundamental right, talks about children between the age group of 6-14 only.

Therefore, the Act clearly excludes and thus violates the right of the 0-6 and 14 to 18 year old children. As a Bill flowing out of the Amendment, it is clear that the Bill can not go beyond Article 21A, which makes it imperative that the 86th amendment must be re-amended to correct this anomaly, and when that happens, the change needs to be reflected in the corresponding Act at that point of time

However, this omission has resulted in the exclusion of 17 crore children of 0-6 years age group from their entitlement to education as their fundamental right, which is a major cause of concern, given that this age is now empirically established as the most important and formative stage of a person’s life. Given this concern, the issue of inclusion of children below 6 years in the Right to Education bill is being raised in several forums.

In the context of the above, we invite members to share their views on how they believe this important age group and its entitlements should be catered to.

We wish to hear your advice on the following:
  • Should it be a justifiable right for only 3-6 year olds and that also to center based Early Childhood Education? Or should it be a right to a stimulating, healthy and enabling environment for all children, from birth to 6 years no matter where they are located? If it is the latter, what kind of government’s commitment and public provisions would define this right operationally?
  • If it should be only for 3 to 6 year olds and through a center based provision, what steps would be needed to ensure access to every child, given the wide variations in quality? If it is not conceptualized as institution/center based ECCD, but more holistically, what would be the monitoring mechanisms to ensure that every child’s right to sound ECCE is fulfilled?
  • Should there be a separate act for the right to education and development of 0-6 age group? Or should it be part of the Right to Education Act, given that the nodal Ministries for the two are different (for elementary education it is the Ministry of Human Resource Development and for ECCE it is the Ministry of Women and Child Development)
Your inputs and advice will strengthen the advocacy and efforts of diverse sets of people in the area of ECCD and would also give us a clear direction to design our own activities and efforts as a Centre dedicated to early childhood care and development
Venita Kaul
Center for Early Childhood Education and Development (CECED)
Ambedkar University,Delhi

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