Published: 02nd May 2018
Child rights panel feels NCERT guidelines for play schools has 'gaps'
The NCERT guidelines talk of play as the basis for learning, art as the basis for education, blend of textual and cultural concepts, and a mix of formal and informal interaction
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has found “gaps” in the guidelines recently released by the NCERT for playschools in the country. In its draft ‘Regulations for Quality Early Years Regulation’ for children aged 3-6 years, the NCERT has for the first time defined the terms of admission, age, teachers’ training and infrastructure to be followed by playschools.
The NCPCR, which had issued recommendations for private playschools last year, feels the crucial issue of a “uniform” curriculum has not been addressed in the NCERT guidelines.
“The NCERT drafting team has gone through our suggestions from last year but this (a standard syllabus) is an important aspect that has been left out,” said Priyank Kanoongo, member, NCPCR (education).
In its recommendations, the NCPCR had stressed that children should be taught in their mother-tongues or a vernacular language and that the focus should be on their overall development and learning through activities and exploration in a child-friendly manner.
The NCERT guidelines talk of play as the basis for learning, art as the basis for education, blend of textual and cultural concepts, a mix of formal and informal interaction, and experience of familiarity and challenge in everyday routines. But they do not specify what exactly children should be engaged with.
“There are instances where children in playschools are burdened to learn alphabets and numbers at the outset. A detailed curriculum by the NCERT will help address those concerns. We will write to it after reviewing the guidelines,” Kanoongo said. A regulatory mechanism for playschools should also be in place, he added.
The guidelines suggest teachers should have cleared Class XII and hold a diploma in pre-school education. But there aren’t enough institutes to train these teachers, so caregivers handle pre-schoolers, Kanoongo said.
NCERT director H K Senapaty could not be contacted for comment despite several attempts.