The TRC – Institute of ECE
The TRC Institute of Early Childhood Education (TRC-IECE) is a project of the TRC; we are registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 (KAR. No 0066 2006-07) at the Joint Stock Companies, Sindh. The TRC-IECE has been set up to meet the need for trained, professional ECE teachers in private and public sector schools.
The TRC-IECE aims to:
- equip ECE teachers with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to enable her/him to respond appropriately to the needs of young children in early childhood settings.
- enhance the pool of ECE professionals in the country, and in the region.
- impact on public sector teacher training institutes and their programmes.
- carry out and publish research studies to increase awareness of issues effecting children; and provide policy recommendations for ECE programming. In its first few years, the IECE will offer a one-year ECE programme for in-service teachers.
The Idea Behind Our Logo
The logo is comprised of building blocks in different colours. The circle represents the cyclical nature of life and learning and is symbolic of harmony and balance.
- The sun represents a new day, a new beginning … hope for the future and is a symbol of warmth and energy
- The child is symbolic of imagination and hope and is at the centre of all our work
- TRC, the parent organisation, is a symbol of sharing and cooperation
- The flower represents freshness and spirit
A Bit of History
The formal registration of TRC-IECE came through on January 22, 2007, yet its foundations were laid a decade earlier in 1997, when TRC began exploring the possibility of institutional linkages with Canadian institutions. For an organisation that was a pioneer in the field of Early Childhood Education in Pakistan, this was a natural next step after eleven years of gaining hands-on experience in promoting a child-centred, active learning approach to ECE. Through the international institutional linkages, TRC sought to consolidate and enhance its expertise, improve research skills and create effective training models. Another key aim of the linkage was to develop an ECE curriculum for teacher education.
Visit to Identify Partner Institutes
Together with staff from the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) from Geneva and Islamabad, TRC staff visited three universities and a college in Canada. The Asia Foundation (TAF) also agreed to fund a visit to the High/Scope Foundation, Ypsilanti (Michigan, US). Eventually it was decided that the Sheridan College and Ryerson Polytechnic University in Canada would prove to be a good fit as linkage partners, as the two institutions had a focus and ethos similar to that of TRC. Sheridan College focused on both the High/Scope and Montessori systems, while Ryerson Polytechnic University had international experience in India and Bangladesh, expertise in research as well as experience in policy dialogue, which was another area TRC was hoping to tap into.
Institutional Linkages Formed
In 1998, with the support of AKF, the Pakistan-Canada Social Institutions Development Programme (SIDP) in collaboration with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), TRC formally initiated the process of forging institutional linkages. To develop a specific framework for the linkages and to build a strong working team, a series of visits took place both in Karachi and Toronto, between TRC staff and staff from the two Canadian institutes. It was established at the outset that the linkages would be equal partnerships that would provide two-way learning opportunities to all the partners.
In 2002, contracts were drafted, budgets and work plans were revised and mechanisms for future dialogues and development were established. In August of the same year, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between TRC, Sheridan College and Ryerson Polytechnic University. Our partners later changed their status and name to become: Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, and Ryerson University.
The partners met again in Toronto in August 2003, to move the ECE Certificate Programme to the next stage of development with discussions on academic policies and procedures, the course map, faculty training and research. The visit also offered TRC the chance to get a first-hand flavour of ECE classes at both Sheridan College and Ryerson University.
ECE-CP Launched in 2005
Over the years the institutional linkage experience has proved to be invaluable. Apart from supporting the creation of our ECE- CP (Early Childhood Education- Certificate Programme), which was launched in 2005, the linkage resulted in an institutional laddering system, which allows graduates of ECE-CP to pursue further education at the Canadian institutions.
The TRC – Institute of ECE Established
As mentioned above, on January 22, 2007, a dream came true for TRC when we opened the doors of the TRC-IECE. The TRC-IECE has been set up to meet the need for trained, professional ECE teachers in private and public sector schools. The programme being offered at IECE is truly unique as it has been developed locally and lays a special emphasis on cultural relevance to Pakistan.
Linkage with SLED Bradford University Initiated
Four years later in 2011, we reached another major milestone when Bradford University’s School of Lifelong Education and Development (SLED) validated the ECE-CP. Following three years of intensive scrutiny and review of our curriculum, bench marking the modules against the UK national qualification framework, assessment procedures, evaluation framework, copies of students’ scripts, faculty CVs, and a site visit in April, the review team approved the programme in May 2009. The next step was the final validation. In May 2011, the CART (course approval and review teams) responsible for academic standards and quality assurance recommended the approval of the ECE-CP to be a validated programme of the University. The external examiner from York University was extremely impressed by the course, in terms of academic rigour, content, quality and high expectation of the students.
In September 2011, a validation contract was signed. The Communications Department of the University approved this advert for prospective students, which was placed on the TRC website: The TRC – Institute of ECE announces the Validation of the ECE – Certificate Programme by the University of Bradford, UK. On successful completion of this one year programme, you will be awarded with an internationally recognised, Certificate of Higher Education in ECE from the University of Bradford, UK.
Linkage with Bradford University Ends
Soon after, there was a change in management at the University of Bradford, and the new VC Academics wrote formally to TRC claiming that the contract was invalid. Lawyers at both ends exchanged dispute notices, until finally TRC decided not to pursue the matter since the relationship had already soured and it didn’t seem worthwhile anymore.
The same year (2011), ECE-CP reached yet another major goal: the launch of the ECE-CPU (ECE Certificate Programme in Urdu). The launch of the ECE-CPU is another significant development in the intertwined journey of TRC and ECE in Pakistan and is expected to magnify ECE’s impact and outreach in the country.
Dissolution of TRC-IECE
With due consent from all TRC and TRC-IECE Board Members, the issue of the dissolution of the TRC-IECE was put forward at the TRC Annual General Meeting (AGM) on March 29, 2014. TRC-IECE was initially set up as a parallel organisation, registered separately under a board of governors, but worked under the umbrella of TRC. At the Board meetings, it was decided that the two bodies would be merged; advice for the same had already been solicited from TRC’s Legal Advisor and GB member, Mr. Salahuddin Ahmed. He said that the dissolution could be aligned to a clause in the Memorandum of Association. The dissolution of TRC-IECE was formally approved at the AGM in March 2014.
TRC-IECE is now an integral part of TRC and will no longer function as a separate institution. Selected IECE Board members have been co-opted onto the TRC Governing Body.
TRC-IECE Programme Advisory Committee Created
A Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) has been established with the purpose of creating an informed and interactive platform for strengthening the ECE-CP. With representation from reputable schools, the PAC will advise on ongoing academic enrichment of the programme, share latest developments in the field, reflect on employability trends for IECE graduates and collaborate for programmatic strengthening.
Services and Programmes
ECE-CP (Early Childhood Education-Certificate Programme): The ECE-CP is an early years’ (ages 2 to 8 ) education programme that is committed to developing and supporting both pre- and in-service professional early childhood teachers. The one-year programme is culturally relevant and offers a rich academic experience to students. A dedicated and experienced faculty, using progressive methodologies, teaches it.
ECE – CPU: In 2011, TRC had launched the ECE-CPU (Early Childhood Education-Certificate Programme – Urdu) with a vision to build a stronger core of ECE professionals in the public and private sectors. The ECE-CPU was a close translation and adaptation of the ECE-CP, with minor logistical changes to ensure applicability in public sector schools and Urdu periods in English medium private schools.
Following a review, we now offer compressed adaptations of ECE-CPU courses for Urdu teachers as stand-alone workshops. This has certainly increased the outreach and impact of the ECE-CPU, as Urdu teachers from English medium schools are provided with the opportunity to attend sessions such as, Child Development, Observation and Assessment and The Learning Environment. This has lead to a feeling of empowerment and equality with their peers who attend workshops on a wide range of subjects, while they attend workshops only on the teaching of Urdu.
The ECE-CP curriculum is informed by the belief that children learn best through ‘active learning,’ that is, through direct, hands-on experiences with people, objects, events, and ideas. The ECE-CP has been developed indigenously and there is a special emphasis on ensuring that the practices imparted are relevant to the school environment of the average Pakistani school. In keeping with TRC’s stress on the active learning philosophy, the ECE-CP curriculum itself attempts to give students as close a taste of the classroom in the real world as possible, and so observations and practical experience in an ECE classroom form an important part of the programme.
We use an interactive and critical pedagogical approach, which is one of the reasons behind our success. Our Field Education component gives our students the opportunity to put theory into practice, and so pre-service students are required to complete 280 hours of placement work, while in-service teachers continue with their regular teaching roles and responsibilities.