The brain is never as elastic again as it is in childhood
By Prof. Dr. Muhammad Nasim
It is evident that it is within the crucial early years, when experience is molding the brain, that the foundations of learning are also set. A person's ability to learn and his or her attitudes towards learning stem from their early years. A stimulating and receptive context can set a young child on the path of discovery, openness to the outside world and the capacity to integrate information. The brain is never as elastic again as it is in childhood, in terms of receptivity and vulnerability. Adults are capable of assimilating new knowledge, but can never rival the child's brain in its mastering of new skills and its discovery of learning. Early childhood experiences are the building blacks of this development and the child is architect of his or her own brain, piecing together the puzzle and reacting to the outside world. Educational kits developed by NEEC helps in strengthening the concepts in science and mathematics during early years of education. In Pakistan, we really have to tackle very aggressively education of fewer than 15 which is nearly 40% of the population (roughly 64 million) and adult literacy program. Nearly 50 million Pakistanis (half the country's adult population) cannot read. Only 60 percent of Pakistani children complete 10 years of school, and only 10 percent complete 12 years. During this quarter we had to make hectic efforts to dispatch Middle School Science kits and Mathematics kits manufactured by NEEC under the Edlinks project of USAID. The kits ?nally left on Monday, November 16, 2009 for distribution amongst the Middle Schools (Grade VI—VIII) of Dadu, J amshoro, Mirpurkhas, Benazirabad, Tharparker, Sukhur, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Khairpur, Awaran, Kacchi, J affarabad, Kechi and Sibi districts of Sindh and Baluchistan. These kits are transported by a specially designed truck provided by UN to NEEC for safe delivery of School kits to various Schools in Pakistan. We are making maximum efforts to manufacture these teaching tools/ kits at our Engineering Workshop. In Pakistan, we need to look at teacher /student ratio while examining the effect of child-centered teaching approaches. Links to Learning program of USAID has earmarked $90 million for the year 2007-2012 for the support of education in Pakistan. NEEC has bigger challenges and opportunities to grow and play a leading role in the education of our children across Pakistan. In addition the faculty of NEEC focuses on training of science teachers through holding 2-3 weeks workshops.
Note: This message was written for NEEC's quarterly newsletter (Oct-Dec-2009) by Prof. Dr. Muhammad Nasim.