It is estimated that 22 million young children in the South Asia region have missed out on early childhood education in their critical preschool year due to school closures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to understand and address the impact of these closures – added to the existing learning crisis – and ensure children gain the key foundational competencies they need through a quality early childhood education which are critical to their brain growth, development, and school readiness. How we approach learning recovery is key.
To promote early learning and development, address learning loss and to support developmentally appropriate teaching and learning of preschool-aged children (between 3 to 5/6 years of age), the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA), in collaboration with the Asia- Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC), developed a formative assessment package for preschool teachers/frontline workers, parents/caregivers and primary school teachers (to use with children entering grade 1) to support learning at preschools/primary schools and at home. The package is designed to be implemented across the countries in the region with an emphasis on feasibility for use in diverse contexts for supporting young children’s learning and development. As a result, the package puts strong emphasis on the process of cultural adaptation and alignment with country’s Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS) and local priorities.
In this context, this session will focus on looking at the importance of learning recovery for the youngest children, how formative assessment can support this, and present the Formative Assessment package, its components and usage along with the requirements for contextualization for making it in line with the country’s priorities and needs.