The ABCs of Early Numeracy
The ABCs of Early Numeracy: How Developing Math Skills Helps Children Thrive
Numbers are one of the most innovative ideas of humankind. They make our everyday life convenient and straightforward. Imagine if numbers are not there, how difficult it would have been to measure, count, access, record and quantify different parameters. The new National Education Policy (NEP), 2020, has significant provision and provides a platform to build, nurture, foster, encourage and multiply mathematical thinking. It has introduced the reforms needed to balance the need for 21st century employment and entrepreneurship, which is marked by critical, lateral and mathematical thinking.
The NEP provides the necessary nourishment by making Mathematics enjoyable and engaging using innovative methods from the foundational step itself. The major policy documents have always pointed towards the need to consider early language, literacy and numeracy more seriously. A good foundation of numeracy skills has a positive impact on the learning of the child in senior classes and also develops a child’s interest in learning. Lot of efforts have been taken at national and state levels to help children and teachers in developing a strong foundation of language and mathematical skills at an early stage.
What NEP covers in early numeracy?
The New Education Policy also adheres to the idea that early numeracy is equally critical prerequisites for schooling and education and requires immediate attention. So, the NEP 2020 makes it an urgent national mission. Policy has shared that the attainment of Universal Foundational Numeracy is also the highest priority of the state and it includes.
- Developing the basic understanding and competencies related to numeracy and its related concepts among young learners till grade 3.
-Understanding of numbers, shapes and spatial awareness.
-Understanding measurement and quantity.
-Simple addition ,subtraction, multiplication and division using 3 digit numbers.
-Application of these basic operations on numbers for problem solving.
-Developing skills among the learners to amalgamate their outside school experiences in their classroom learning to attain numeracy skill in a better way.
Importance of early numeracy
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2022 emphasize the importance of early numeracy in the following ways:
Foundational literacy and numeracy: The NEP 2020 emphasizes on achieving foundational literacy and numeracy for all learners by grade 3. The NCF 2022 also stresses on the importance of foundational numeracy in the early years of schooling.
Holistic development: The NEP 2020 emphasizes on the holistic development of learners and the importance of numeracy in developing analytical and logical thinking.
Life skills: Numeracy skills are important for everyday life, and the NEP 2020 recognizes this by emphasizing the importance of life skills in education.
Digital literacy: The NEP 2020 emphasizes on digital literacy and the use of technology in education. Numeracy skills are essential in developing the ability to work with numbers and data in the digital world.
Equity and inclusion: The NCF 2022 emphasizes on the need for inclusive and equitable education, and stresses on the importance of early numeracy in reducing inequalities in learning outcomes.
Hence the focus area under Numeracy and mathematical understanding are Number sense, Pre-number concepts, Mathematical Vocabulary, Visualization and Spatial understanding- Space, Size and Position.