Aangun Early Childhood Education Preschool

Aangun Early Childhood Education Preschool

Aangun Early Childhood Education Preschool is a unique community-based preschool for underprivileged children age 3-5 years set up by The Little Art. The preschool caters to children of working classes who either do not attend preschool or have access to very low-quality education.

The Aangun ECE Preschool offers immersive learning experiences to children to prepare them for life. Project-based learning ensures sensory, cognitive, linguistic, emotional and social development of children. It also strengthens the community through inter and intra-community links with the training of families, professional development opportunities for women from the community, and volunteer engagement.

1. The Issues

1. The Issues

The affluent neighbourhood of Model Town, Lahore is also home to gardeners, sweepers, drivers, peons, guards, domestic workers, etc. from Muslim and non-Muslim backgrounds working for the society and its residents. Their children either do not attend preschool, or attend very low quality schools. The issues linked to such an education include:

  • rote memorization as the dominant mode of learning
  • lack of co-curricular activities that develop confidence and positive social values
  • substantial expenses on school fees, after-school tuition, books and stationery
  • poor health of children due to unhealthy snacks, sleep deprivation and lack of health check-ups
  • no opportunity to learn Punjabi, the mother tongue of the majority of children
  • disconnect between the school, the community, and the environment
  • parents lack knowledge regarding their role in the development of their children
  • minimal interaction between children of different religious communities

2. The Solution

2. The Solution

In order to address these concerns The Little Art, a non-profit organisation established in 2007, is starting a community-based pre-school for underprivileged children age 3-5 years living in the vicinity of the Aangun Centre for Learning & Culture in Model Town. The pre-school will run five days a week on the following principles:

  • Prepare children for life rather than for school
  • Sensory, motor, cognitive, linguistic, emotional and social development of children through activities and games, yoga and meditation, arts and crafts, music, using a widely tested curriculum, teaching methodology, and on-going impact assessment
  • Strengthen school-community, inter and intra-community links by recruiting young educated females as assistant teachers, monthly workshops for family members so that they can reinforce the learning of children in their homes, inviting community elders to educate children about the history and heritage of the community, and promoting interaction between families/ children of different religious communities
  • Identify and engage volunteers (e.g. retired preschool teachers / heads) to mentor assistant teachers
  • Use low cost and easy to make materials which can be easily replaced, and can be replicated by the family
  • Use the school garden to teach about agriculture, kitchen gardening, and concepts of pre-primary science, math, language, health, hygiene and nutrition
  • Use local stories, games, poems and other resources to educate children about their rich cultural heritage
  • Build on the ability of children to learn multiple languages at a young age, and teach them Urdu, English and Punjabi through activities and games
  • Promote the physical and mental health of children through school timings which allow children adequate sleep (10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.), daily yoga and games, educating parents to provide nutritious snacks to children (or buy low-cost nutritious snacks for children who are unable to bring their own), and monthly check-ups by doctors
  • Families will be encouraged to arrange joint transport for children to reduce costs.

3. Financing the Preschool

3. Financing the Preschool

The following measures are proposed to finance the preschool:

  • Admission fees of Rs. 2000 and monthly fees of Rs. 1500 (to be reduced or waived for most needy)
  • Sponsor a child for a year: Rs 48000
  • Sponsor stationery/art material for a child for 1 year: Rs 5000
  • Educate 20 parents / family members in child development: Rs 24000
  • Any amount that you wish to contribute

4. Beyond Pre-school

4. Beyond Pre-school

Once Aangun becomes a viable entity and starts demonstrating its impact on children, we will invite heads/teachers of quality schools in the vicinity to assess the children’s development. The visit will help in convincing schools to sponsor the education of one or more children graduating from Aangun. TLA will guarantee that these graduates have the required knowledge, skills and attitudes to enter grade 1 in any of these schools.