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Jaadui Pitara: A Fun Learning Experience For Children

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Jaadui Pitara: A Fun Based Learning Experience

 

Ankita

Jaadui Pitara is a pedagogical tool to enhance the learning experience of children between the age group of 3-8 years. It uses a wide range of colorful picture/text/play based material that engages the learners in their cognitive (linguistic and arithmetic) and affective development. It is developed on the lines of NEP 2020 by the National Council of Educational Research and Training NCERT which assists Central and State governments on policies and programs to improve school education in India. 

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is a unique reformative initiative that has been designed keeping in consideration the changing needs and 21st century skills of the knowledge economy of India. The policy document is suggestive by nature and doesn’t focus much on answering ‘how’ the given measures will be implemented in a classroom. However, its daughter documents like National Curriculum Framework (NCF) and other scheme based documents, with time are unfolding with many answers and suggestions to the questions of implementation. 

Any national level policy requires a framework of implementation. Earlier the NCF 2005 document provided a framework for designing curriculum, textbooks, and teaching methods in the Indian schools. Since, NEP 2020 suggests that the years of schooling are subdivided into 5+3+3+4 system there are four national level curriculum frameworks, namely, (1) National Curriculum Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCF-ECCE), (2) National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCF-SE), (3) National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCF-TE), (4) National Curriculum Framework for Adult Education (NCF-AE). 

What is Jaadui Pitara? 

Jaadui Pitara, an initiative launched in India, is specifically designed for children between 3 & 8 years old. The initiative was launched in February 2022 as part of the NEP 2020 under the designing and implementing agency NCERT, Ministry of Education. Its digital form E-Jaadui Pitara was launched in November 2023. It is available in 13 languages to cater to the diverse needs of the learners. 

Jaadui Pitara in English means ‘Magic Box.’ The Magic Box comprises playbooks, flash cards, toys, puzzles, story books, posters, teachers handbook and other literacy and numeracy based material. This program uses colorful pictures, engaging text, and play-based activities to help young learners develop their thinking skills (including language and math) and emotional well-being. 

Objective

The main objective of this initiative is to transmit and transfer the ideas and concepts of learning in children at the foundational stage as envisaged by NCF-FS. Through its digital form it also bridges the gap among those where resource availability is an issue. With the help of its instructive manual it includes parents and teachers as an active participant in enabling a healthy and interactive environment for children. 

E- Jaadui Pitara 

The main aim of introducing digital Jaadui Pitara is to strengthen the digital infrastructure and  provide a wider and diverse accessibility to its users on computers, smartphones, television and radios. The digital form of Jaadui Pitara can be accessed using the DIKSHA platform. There are a variety of learning materials that can be accessed by children, their parents and the teachers. 

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Source – Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing DIKSHA Platform official website. 

Implementation 

The Digital Jaadui Pitara (DJP) initiative outlines a strategic approach, beginning with a focused launch phase to establish the concept and its potential, followed by subsequent phases for scaling up the program and continuously refining it.

Phase 1: Launch of the Digital Jaadui Pitara

The primary objective of Phase 1 is to introduce the DJP concept to the nation and demonstrate its capabilities through exemplary content and innovative technological applications. The first phase started in  2023. This phase encompasses two major components:

Component 1: Digital Jaadui Pitara Content Platform

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has curated and showcased a diverse range of content on the DJP platform to illustrate its potential. The content is multilingual, multi-targeted, multi-channel, multi-format, & technology driven. To expedite the launch, existing content from initiatives like DIKSHA, NROER, NIPUN, and Toy Mission will be leveraged. Additionally, readily available technologies like generative AI and existing digital infrastructure (QR coding, DIKSHA platform, Anuvadini translation tool, and FS Taxonomy) will be employed. Further refinement and improvement of this content will be undertaken in subsequent phases.

Component 2: Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) Campaign

A comprehensive IEC campaign will be launched to generate widespread awareness about the DJP concept. This campaign will utilize relatable and engaging elements such as a theme song, a short film, and a dedicated logo. The campaign aims to position the DJP as a tangible manifestation of the transformative potential of the National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage (NCF-FS).

Phase 2: Scaling Up the Digital Jaadui Pitara

Following the successful launch in Phase 1, the subsequent phase focuses on expanding the program’s reach and impact. Key areas of focus will include universal accessibility, content expansion, ecosystem participation, technological advancement etc. This phased approach will enable the Digital Jaadui Pitara to establish itself as a valuable and impactful resource for early childhood education in India, promoting accessibility, inclusivity, and continuous improvement.

Content of Jaadui Pitara 

The content is simple, age appropriate,  and relevant to the context of the NCF Foundational Stage. It can be accessed and used by children, teachers, parents and administrators. It is available in 13 Indian languages. It uses materials like pebbles, flowers, twigs, chalks etc which are readily available in the child’s environment.  

The material in Jaadui Pitara is rooted in real life context and therefore has the flexibility to accommodate local resources to facilitate the process of learning. There are flashcards which simply use pictures to teach color identification, daily based activities like buttoning up a shirt or washing one’s hands etc. The 10 categories of resources in the above mentioned pictures have further sub categories which are planned activities with a pre set objective and learning aims. 

Children can enjoy the interaction with the learning material by talking, listening, watching videos, using toys, working with material, painting and drawing, singing, dancing, etc. The content is available in many formats like videos, audios, pictures, pdfs, interactive pdfs, etc,. The duration of videos is short with maximum time period being 3 minutes to avoid long screen hours by children. The content on DIKSHA is designed in a manner that children with special needs can also access it. The content also aims to target 5 domains of development in children- Physical, socio-emotional, ethical, cognitive, language and literacy and aesthetic and cultural development. 

Teaching-Learning Material

The LTM is designed in a manner that it engages the children on various sensory levels like touch, hearing, seeing etc. along with the active use of hands so as to manipulate the objects and create their own learning experience. It is not just a LTM but it’s a magic box with a variety of tools in it. 

  • Visuals: Colorful picture books, posters, flashcards – all designed to grab young learners’ attention.
  • Text: Engaging stories, rhymes, and simple explanations to introduce new concepts.
  • Play-based activities: Puzzles, toys, games, and worksheets that make learning fun and interactive.

Why is Jaadui Pitara a Unique Initiative?

Jaadui Pitara is one of the first attempts that aims to actively engage the children in their learning with rich resource materials. From a space where because of lack of resources teachers would hide away their sample material from children in order to avoid it getting damaged, there is a shift to design LTM for children. Balvatika 1,2 & 3 learners need not carry school bags full of books now. They can carry their favorite toys, lunch, water bottle and clothes of their choice. There are attempts to remove rigid infrastructure and introduce flexible round tables that can be moved easily within the class. 

It caters to the diverse learning needs and styles of different learners. Teachers can now better understand the learning styles and interests of their children. 

Jaadui Pitara: A Promising Initiative With Room for Digital Expansion

The Jaadui Pitara has been met with great enthusiasm by educators, administrators, and especially young children. This innovative program serves as a symbol of the Foundational Stage’s (FS) emphasis on learning through play. It effectively sparks wonder, curiosity, and joy among young learners.

However, despite its positive reception, the program’s physical limitations have hindered its reach. Challenges such as production, distribution, procurement, cost, and space requirements have slowed down the dissemination of Jaadui Pitara resources. Additionally, the initial focus was primarily on classroom materials for teachers, neglecting the potential for parental and community involvement.

Way Forward 

Digital technologies can significantly enhance the program’s impact. By embracing digital channels, the Jaadui Pitara initiative has the potential to be amplified and reach a wider audience and further promote the transformational goals of the NCF-FS curriculum. 

The language aspect of the initiative can be expanded in order to get maximum outreach. Interaction with LTM should be part of children’s daily routine. More workshops should be organized for children and teachers  by various storytellers and puppet artists. With diverse exposure to the language and its varying use can improve the literacy of children and of the nation. Learning in the near future would not be limited to textbooks but children along with the help of their teachers and facilitators will construct new experiences that demands active use of their body and mind. 

References

Ankita is a research intern at IMPRI and is currently pursuing her MA in Education and Development from NIEPA.

Acknowledgement– The author would like to thank Apekshya Basnet & Mannat Ghumman for sharing their valuable suggestions to enhance the readability of the article. 

Read more at IMPRI

The State of School Education in India

NIPUN Bharat – National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (2021) Mission and its relevance in contemporary times

Prerana Program (2024) : An Experiential Learning Program 

This article was posted by Ankita, a research intern at IMPRI.

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