Early Scope

School education ministers’ body pitches for nursery class in government schools

BHOPAL: A 12 member committee headed by union minister Upendra Kushwaha has recommended starting pre-primary classes at all government schools across country. School education ministers of three states, including Madhya Pradesh, are a part of the body.

The committee is also considering introduction of nursery class in government run and private schools.

According to the standing rules, the government schools start from Class 1, and anganwadis take care of children up to the age of six.

The suggestion came up in a meeting of the 12 member committee in December. School education minister of Tripura, Tapan Chakraborty, school education minister of Haryana Ram Bilas Sharma, director of NCERT, chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child in addition to the state education minister Vijay Shah are a part of the committee.

"Taking development of a child in the initial years into account, it is important for the government to take this step. Due to the non-availability of nursery facility in government schools, most parents are forced to opt for private schools," the committee said.

It was also noticed that many parents admit their children directly in Class 1 skipping anganwadi, due to which they often struggle to understand the basic concepts.

The committee is also mulling to contact the ministry of women and child development to bring about the change at the policy level. It has also sought a regulatory framework that would enable government schools to take admission at the pre-primary level.

"Introduction of pre-primary education in all government schools would make children ready for school education. The recommendation assumes significance as state ministers have been associated in a central government team," said a senior official wishing anonymity.

He said that earlier the ministries of school education were asked to have an 'integrated' anganwadi centre with government-run primary schools in their vicinity for early childhood education. However, the idea did not work as expected, necessitating such a move.

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