Finally … a moment to update the news!! We are acutely aware that we have been “silent” for quite a few months … but we have been really busy and short staffed! What have we been up to? Here is a very, very, brief overview for now; as soon as we are settled in our new office, (mid July) we will begin writing up the details of these activities.

We are Moving: We have been busy planning, designing, working with architects for many, many months now. We are almost ready, but the carpenter, electrician and painter are still around! As a friend said, ” they become like tenants and are just not willing to move out! ”

So where will TRC be located? We are moving out of our present premises at 67-B, Garden Road, Karachi, to the 2nd Floor, C-121, Ehtesham Centre National Highway, Defence Housing Authority Phase I, Karachi. By the end of July, you will find a map of our new location and our new telephone numbers here on our website.

Our library is all packed up, books are in labelled cartons, the office is beginning to wear a deserted look … 20 years of baggage takes days to shift and weeks to sort!

ECE-Certificate Programme: Our new office space has a section dedicated to the newly established (January 2007) Institute of ECE (IECE), where we intended to start Year-2 of the ECE-CP. It was not to be. The City Kindergarten Resource Centre, which is The City School Network’s ECE Training Centre, kindly accommodated us for a couple of weeks and then we moved the classes to the Faiz Library, in the PECHS Girls’ School. We were determined to end this nomadic existence and begin Semester 2 at the IECE. With great difficulty, we managed to get one classroom and a bathroom ready and Semester 2 began on June 06. This semester we have three courses: Play Experiences, History & Philosophy of ECE and Child Development.

Publications: Despite daily calls/follow-up with the two different printers, our publications were delayed, owing to excessive power failures … Karachites will empathise! Ilm o Amal was inordinately delayed. We apologise to the schools that closed end May; the courier returned their copies to us and we will send them again in August. The PDF version will be put on this site shortly. The other much awaited publication, Innovation in the Kachi, with a bright red cover:-) has also arrived from the printer adding to the pile of cartons at TRC!! Innovation in the Kachi is a longitudinal study of the impact of innovative ECE practices in public sector primary schools.

Curriculum Development: This has been a period of intense, extensive curriculum development! Starting with the Federal Curriculum Wing, Ministry of Education’s request to revise the ECE Curriculum we had developed in 2002, to Shah Wilayat Public School to PECHS Girls’ School. We are still working on the last one, but have completed the National Curriculum for ECE and Shah Wilayat’s Curriculum for KG 2 and Class 1.

ECE Advocacy at District Level: In collaboration with Unesco and the Sindh Education Department, we conducted two workshops, to mobilise policy level support for the promotion of ECE in Sindh, and to build capacity of district level managers and community leaders. The first workshop was held in Nawabshah and the second in Karachi at TRC. As part of this collaboration, we have also developed an Advocacy Resource Book on ECE. It is currently being translated into Urdu and Sindhi. Detaisl on all these activities will be available on this site soon.

New “Partners”: Several extensive meetings were held with representatives of American Institutes for Research. Proposals were written and budgets prepared and more meetings held and e-mails exchanged in preparation for a USAID education project due to begin in September 2007.

We are currently discussing a partnership with Unilever Pakistan to conduct workshops on play for teachers of early years’ education and to develop resources for the advocacy of the importance of play and active learning.

Affiliation of IECE: We are exploring partnerships with UK based universities for the TRC-Institute of ECE. The British Council Karachi, has been extremely helpful in this regard (Thank you Samina Khan!!) and as a result we have been in e-mail contact with several folk across UK.

Sharne Proctor, Director, International & Postgraduate Service, University of Glasgow, visited TRC while she was in Karachi for some work. We had a great, preliminary meeting and plan to meet again in Glasgow in September, with the Dean of Education and ECE faculty to move the discussion further.

The TRC Team: We have been dreadfully short staffed during this period. Lila Ram is still away in Australia on study leave, but we look forward to having him back with us soon; Sadiya Azeem is away on maternity leave; Rubina Naqvi is away for six weeks, recovering from surgery; Amima Sayeed is back now, but was away for an extended period, attending a family wedding and then a conference in North America.

In the midst of all this, an associate member, also a student, requested the use of some books she knows we have, for her final thesis. A letter informing members that the library will be closed in June and July went out in mid May. Since our library team has categorised, packed and labelled all the books, we were able to locate the books she needed.