written by Bishnu Bhatta, director of PSD Nepal
‘The early childhood group environment has a very crucial role in children’s learning and development. Young children are in the process of rapid brain development. We as an adult should acknowledge our minds rapidly develop with every new experience. Their external and internal places must allow children to be playful and imaginative. Children are developing their identities, learning social patterns, and building a foundation of learning and socialization that will shape the rest of their lives.
We have started an initiative named ‘the learning center’ to focus on such factors. The learning center is focused solely on the 10 children. The learning center was started to create a safe place, a space where the children can be comfortable learning about their surroundings. When considering the nature of this “safe place,” a non-threatening, comfortable environment in which a child is free to learn, it is useful to apply the principles of place-based education.
We started the learning center to prevent the children from going to the dumping sites with their parents. The learning center can be viewed as tuition classes, but the focus isn’t just on academics, it is about entertainment for the children as well. The learning center is a 2 hours class throughout the week, Sunday – Friday (5 PM – 7 PM), and Saturdays usually depend. We have children who go to Nursery class and up to 8th grade.
We try to find the strengths and weaknesses of each child and work on them accordingly. For instance, Dilson is a good and enthusiastic child, he goes to 1st grade. He is good at reading and remembering but in comparison, his writing wasn’t good, and we focused on his writing. We see how every child is different, they have different characters and personalities. We are currently trying to teach them English and some basic Computer lessons. The interns working in the learning center communicate in the English language so that the children hear, observe, and learn.
To sum up, we also wanted the children to get enthusiastic about the study when they can learn and play, through the initiative of the learning center. The learning center is also one of the ways where we can monitor and evaluate the progress of the children on a daily basis‘.