[Answered] Evaluate the potential impacts of the ‘Aadharshila’ curriculum on the holistic development of children in the early childhood phase in anganwadis. Discuss the curriculum’s alignment with the National Education Policy 2020 and its potential to address foundational literacy and numeracy gaps.

Introduction: Describe the newly named “Aadharshila” curriculum.

Body: Impact of curriculum on development of children and its alignment with NEP.

Conclusion: Way forward

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) has unveiled the National Curriculum for Early Childhood Care and Education 2024, named ‘Aadharshila’, following the guidelines of the National Education Policy 2020 and the National Curriculum Framework. Aadharshila, which translates to ‘foundation stone’, is a comprehensive curriculum spanning 48 weeks, designed for children aged three to six years attending anganwadis.

Impacts on Holistic Development

  • Play-based Learning: Aadharshila underscores the significance of learning through play, which is pivotal for fostering cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development during early childhood.
  • Holistic Approach: By incorporating physical activities, artistic expression, and socio-emotional learning, Aadharshila has the potential to cultivate individuals with well-rounded development.
  • Foundational Development: The curriculum aims to introduce children to fundamental language, numeracy, and life skills, laying a robust groundwork for future learning endeavors.

Alignment with NEP 2020

  • Emphasis on Play: Aadharshila’s adoption of a play-based approach is in accordance with NEP 2020’s stress on learning through hands-on activities and exploration.
  • Mother Tongue Instruction: NEP 2020 advocates for instruction in the mother tongue. Aadharshila can be customized to integrate local languages, enhancing comprehension and engagement among learners.
  • Teacher Training: Successful execution necessitates adequately trained anganwadi workers. NEP 2020 underscores the importance of teacher training, which is instrumental for the effective implementation of Aadharshila.

Addressing Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Gaps

  • Early Exposure: Aadharshila’s emphasis on language and numeracy within a playful context can serve to narrow foundational literacy and numeracy gaps by acquainting children with these concepts prior to formal schooling.
  • Engaging Learning Activities: Through activities such as counting games and rhymes, Aadharshila fosters enjoyable and interactive learning experiences, enhancing retention and alleviating anxieties associated with foundational literacy and numeracy.
  • Enhanced Parental Engagement: The curriculum can promote increased parental involvement in their children’s learning at home, thereby reinforcing foundational literacy and numeracy skills.

Conclusion

For the first time, the Union government has introduced such curriculum recommended for children aged three to six, boosting pre-school education in India’s 14 lakh anganwadis. These anganwadis, will serve as vital centers in villages, catering to the health and nutrition requirements of pregnant mothers and children.

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