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Holistic, sport & play-based Early Childhood Development (ECD) for disadvantaged children

Move & Improve

Marker Mirzapur, India
Children aged 3 to 6 are provided with the foundations for learning, school success and healthy development through quality ECD and their transition to primary school is facilitated. The sport & play-based curriculum by the Swiss Academy for Development (SAD) enables children to develop holistically by improving physical strength, intellectual capacities, emotional awareness and social skills.

Quality education for marginalised children

“So far, Move & Improve has improved the future prospects of over 2,800 children.”

Malika Kons, Project Manager, Swiss Academy for Development (SAD)

Why do we need Move & Improve? The programme addresses the marginalisation and exclusion of children in Uttar Pradesh, India, who are disadvantaged by their caste (Dalit), religion (Muslim groups) and/or lack of access to important economic resources. Uttar Pradesh is the state with the lowest school attendance rates in India. Primary school drop-out rates are still very high, double the national average. Children who live in the most remote villages or are from the lowest castes and socioeconomic backgrounds are most affected.

Who drives Move & Improve? The programme was initiated by the Swiss Academy for Development (SAD) and is implemented by the Centre for Rural Education and Development (CREDA). Fifty facilitators assisted by fifty caretakers run daily classes for the children and promote their learning. Fifty local management committees support the early learning centres. Countless parents and community members have helped with lobbying, labour contributions and awareness raising activities.

What has Move & Improve achieved until now? Over 2,800 children have been enrolled in the programme, more than half of them girls. 53% have illiterate parents and 99% belong to the lowest and most marginalised castes or are Muslims (who face widespread discrimination). 65% are from landless families and 33% have parents who are small/marginal farmers. Only 1% of the children have dropped out of the programme and 812 children are already enrolled in their first or second year of formal education.

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Intended Outcomes
3 - 6
Age Group
Resources Needed
We use a child-friendly, sport and play-based approach, for which we have developed a toolkit with background information, practical guidelines, activities to do with the children and instructions for toys. Learn more here: http://sad.ch/en/news-media/publications/learning-through-play/

See this innovation in action.

“I have read the toolkit and would like to congratulate the authors and others working on the project. The project is ...”
Paul Hunt
Babbu's story
Building on local resources and support
Toolkit "Learning through Play"


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