Child development refers to the changes that occur as a child grows and develops such as being physically healthy, mentally alert, emotionally sound, socially competent and ready to learn.
Recent research confirms that the first five years are particularly important for the development of a child’s brain and shape the child’s future health, happiness, growth, development and learning achievement at school, in the family and community, and in life in general. The first three years are most critical in shaping the child’s brain architecture. Early experiences provide the base for the brain’s organizational development and functioning throughout life. They have a direct impact on how children develop learning skills as well as social and emotional abilities.
Children need love and nurturing to develop a sense of trust and security that turns into confidence as they grow. Understanding the stages of child development helps parents know what to expect and how to best support the child as she or he grows and develops.
Parents in Afghanistan obviously love and want the best for their children but currently aren’t able to provide these things because of the lack of resources available to them. Our project, PAC-M-Learning, will bridge the gap and provide much needed education to these parents.
Our plan is multi-fold:
1) Survey parents in rural parts of Afghanistan regarding their interest in participating.
2) Pick a sample group from the parents surveyed who were particularly keen t0 participate.
3) Partner with a phone company in Afghanistan, which would provide
free airtime on phones to our sample group.
4) Pretest questions regarding the child’s rearing.
5) And finally, the PAC-M-Learning project, which has information about:
- Child’s whole development (physical, cognitive, language, social, and emotional development).
- How to evaluate child’s developmental milestone in the physical, cognitive, language, social, and emotional development of children between ages of (0-5).
- Analysis of child’s development as a whole.
- How to improve child’s development in each domain (physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional development).
- A quiz on the above learning modules.
6) Parents who successfully completed the project would be awarded an honorarium.
7) Post-test questionnaires on completion of the program will determine the effectiveness of the PAC-M-Learning project.
At this time, we are proud to say that the first phase of implementation of this project in Afghanistan is complete. With the help of our M-learning team and guided teachers, sample groups of Afghan parents completed the first M-Learning project and the data collected has been used by our team to write two academic papers, published in 2014. The sum of collected data indicated very positive results and feedback.
Needs Assessment: Knowledge on Parenting and Improving the Learning Space through Technological Advances in Afghanistan May 2014
Effectiveness of Parent Education through Mobile Technology in Afghanistan Nov 2014