Early Childhood Education Programme in Punjab: Voices of Teachers & Head Teachers
Author(s) : Muhammad Zafar Iqbal , Hassan Arslan Khalid & MubesheraTufail
The purpose of this research was to investigate the facilities and hurdles as experienced by early childhood teachers and head teachers about early childhood education (ECE) programme implemented in the province of Punjab. The researchers carried out the research study by taking enrollment rate, retention rate, implementation problems and shortcomings of the early childhood education programme. The mixed methods approach was used by the researchers to achieve the study objectives. The population of the study was 324 (head teachers and Kachi class teachers) of 162 schools where the ECE program was being implemented in Hafizabad. A sample of 100 (50 head teachers and 50 teachers) was selected through purposive sampling technique. To collect data from the sampled participants, three tools were developed by the researchers i.e. student enrollment and retention sheet, an observation sheet and semi-structured interview protocol. Coding technique and descriptive statistics for example frequencies and percentages were applied to analyze data. It was found that there was an increase of enrollment in ECE classroom students. All basic facilities were found present in schools that included safe drinking water, furniture, ECE kit, a separate classroom for ECE purpose; problems found during implementation of ECE programme were of financial as well as administrative nature. Recommendations of the study were to provide finances to resolve financial problems and to give continuous trainings to class teachers as well as head teachers regarding ECE classroom activities.
Key Words: Early Childhood Education (ECE), Enrollment, Retention, Punjab