Throughout the world, education is regarded as one of the most consistent and reliable vehicles towards an improved standard of living. Establishing a successful foundation in early childhood development is a pivotal determinant of success in education.
The science behind early child development is vast and still largely unknown, but according to Dr Pardhan, estimates suggest that 700 new brain connections are made every second in the first years of life. Furthermore, citing a 2007 Harvard University study, she adds that each connection is built off the one before it — similar to the construction of a house that is erected from the ground up.
Noting that international standards define early childhood as “the period from prenatal development to eight years of age,” she emphasises the importance that quality of life plays for children, not only at home but also at school and within the community.
ECD Programme in Pakistan to be replicated in Russia & Syria
As the Member for Early Child Development (ECD) at the Ismaili Council for Pakistan, Dr Pardhan leads Parwaaz, a national Jamati ECD initiative that has seen great success. The programme is being replicated for the Jamat in Russia and there are hopes that it may be introduced in Syria as well.
ECD Programme in Uganda
Currently, slightly more than 80 per cent of the children in the Uganda Jamat are enrolled across nine ECD centres — figures that are expected to grow in the months ahead.
ECD Programme in Tanzania
Similar to Uganda’s ECD programme, the Tanzania Jamat has an Ismaili Early Learning Centre that is linked with the Centre for Continuing Education and Life Long Learning (CELL) — a programme of the Aga Khan University’s Institute for Educational Development in East Africa, based in Dar es Salaam.
Early child development has been a priority for AKU in East Africa since it expanded into the African continent in 2000. Through the CELL programme, the university works directly to provide facilities and training for both students and teachers in the region.
In addition to delivering formative lessons on childhood development at the Ismaili Early Learning Centre, CELL promotes continuing education as a lifestyle choice.