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Children’s voices inform education policy

At a unique workshop organised by TNLU recently for both children and their teachers, children from the evening education centres were asked about their likes and dislikes. They identified their top likes as grandparents, parents, and family members; to be loved, cared for, and shown affection; and to play games, dance and act – like children everywhere.

The purpose was to explore whether the teachers at the education centres are “…providing the right type of environment to our children for their optimal growth…”. As a result of the findings, principles of childhood education and a code of conduct were developed with the following recommendation:

The education for children should be an integrated one. It should take into account the family members, neighbours, peer group, community, environment, parents, teachers / schools, social gatherings, media, culture, religion, etc. The development of the ‘whole child’ should be the goal of our education centres. This development includes physical, language, cognitive, social, emotional, creative expression and knowledge of appreciation.

There are now sixteen education centres run in the evenings, with 790 children attending in total, established by our project partner the Tamil Nadu Labour Union with funding from NZEI Te Riu Roa.