Published: 20th October 2018
Adios textbooks and slates: Primary schools in Kerala to undergo revamp
As part of its first step, the state government will start 1000 pre-primary schools in the state with adequate facilities and necessary infrastructure by coordinating with the available anganwadis
At a time when the private unaided schools in the state turn focus on giving thrust to pre-school activities, the pre-primary education system at government and aided schools are also set to be revamped with the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) introducing a new curriculum for the intellectual and emotional development of children. The project will be implemented jointly with the Social Justice department.
As part of its first step, the state government will start 1000 pre-primary schools in the state with adequate facilities and necessary infrastructure by coordinating with the available anganwadis in the vicinity of government schools. The school will be stressed on educating children through activities, games without using textbooks or slates. However, the government could not give a time frame to start the new system owing to delay in the release of fund from the centre.
The schools will focus on a unified child-friendly curriculum, encompassing physical, social, intellectual, and emotional development of the child. The General Education Department has also decided to provide space for Anganwadis in government schools where excess accommodation was available and pre-primary school was not functioning.
Speaking to Express, J Prasad, SCERT Director, the new curriculum would be introduced and it will focus on activity cards rather than using textbooks.
" In an effort to make the pre-primary education system scientific, we are introducing a new curriculum. As part of this, we have already started activity cards named 'Kalithoni'. The cards have 30 different themes and the first part is the collection of 10 themes. The cards aim at children’s physical, creative, language, scientific and social and emotional development. Besides children, the new programme will also benefit the pre-primary school teachers", Prasad said.
However, he also shared apprehensions about the fund for implementing the project.
" We had submitted a project report to the union government for the funds much earlier. However, the funds are yet to be released. If the centre doesn't sanction the funds, the state government has decided to move on with the state funds", Prasad made it clear.
According to A Shahjahan, General Education Secretary, the SCERT and Samagra Shiksha Abhiyaan are on the job to implement the programme.
" Apart from benefiting the children, it could also help to give a good pay to the teachers. The engaging of pre-primary staffs by the parent teachers associations could not be termed as statutory appointments by the government. Therefore, their claim for salary was not sustainable. Similarly placed employees in the government sector such as Anganwadi worker and helper and alternative school teachers were paid only honorarium. So a hike in honorarium will be considered along with the project", Shahjahan said.