Utility of Early Childhood Education Resource Rooms in Pakistani Public Schools: Analysis of Teachers’ Perspectives
Keywords:Early Childhood Education, ECE Resource Rooms, Teachers' Perception, , Literacy and Numeracy Drive
Early years of child’s life are acknowledged as vital stage for his/her all-inclusive intellectual, physical, emotional and linguistic development. Previous literature suggests that Early Childhood Education (ECE) provides solid basis for optimal development of life-long skills and consequent learning. Keeping in view the importance of ECE in international scenario, Pakistan National Education Policy (2009) made commitment to allocate additional budget for establishment of ECE resource rooms in all the public schools to provide at least one year of pre-primary education to children along with specialized training for teachers. This study, therefore, mainly focused to analyze teachers’ views about utility of ECE resource rooms in Pakistani public schools and to highlight opportunities, gaps and challenges. To achieve the objective, researchers used quantitative survey design and collected views of 308 (150 male and 158 female) randomly selected ECE teachers in district Muzaffargarh. A self-developed questionnaire comprising two factors having 45 close-ended items was used to collect data. Researchers applied both the descriptive and inferential statistical techniques to analyze the quantitative data. Overall, results suggested that majority of sample teachers showed positive perception about ECE setup as well as its utility but with some reservations. Findings further revealed that teachers' perceived utility of ECE resource rooms differed significantly in terms of their gender but not for school location. This study finally recommends that governments should increase allocation of budget to further promote ECE in public sector schools, specifically to construct purpose-build resource rooms and to train teachers.
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