Across the globe, children’s education has taken a beating due to pandemic. This is even more so in the case of pre-primary schooling, where the obstacles to children’s foundational learning pose a threat to their development.

 

This issue has more severe effects in areas with a history of child exploitation. Such is the Mica belt of Jharkhand, India in districts of Koderma and Giridih, where children work in adverse conditions, extracting Mica scraps from dark and dingy pits.

 

Terre des Hommes Netherlands’ multipronged approach to address the issue includes the provision of quality education which begins right from the pre-primary stage through anganwadi education. However, due to the closure of schools and anganwadis, the children are even more at risk during COVID-19.

As a strategy to combat the potential threats that preschool children face, TdH-NL adopted its ‘Home Based Early Childhood Education’ where children were taught at home with the help of household materials.

Colour concepts were taught through vegetable sorting, shapes and counting were taught through different vessels at home, charts were put up on curtains, seeds were planted and nurtured, play was done through a cloth swing, and many more such household based activities helped boost the child’s gross and fine motor development, cognitive, sensory and language development skills.

Through an approach, ‘Mothers as Teachers’, the anganwadi staff conducted home visits where mothers were trained on teaching their children with resources at home as well as ways to monitor and document the progress of their child.

This has been an ongoing activity of the Mica project since the onset of the pandemic. By the month of November, 721 families with children under the age of 5 (835 children) were facilitated to adopt homes based ECE.

Both parents and children have expressed their delight in being joyfully and productively engaged through the home based learning.