Published: 26th June 2019
For the first time Centre to notify guidelines, curriculum for playschools across the country
The National Council for Educational Research and Training had prepared the documents for playschools last year, which was later, also discussed with states
The Centre, for the first time, is set to notify syllabus and guidelines for playschools across the country that will try to bring a standardized curriculum for pre-schooling and set minimum standards of services and facilities for such centers. The initiative is part of the first 100-day plan of the Union Human Resources Development Ministry.
The National Council for Educational Research and Training had prepared the documents for playschools last year, which was later, also discussed with states. "We will now issue these guidelines and curriculum framework urging states to adopt them," a senior official in the Ministry told this newspaper.
Playschools are typically meant for children aged three to six but many such centers admit children over 18 months onwards. At present these playschools, which are run privately, are not governed under any specific guidelines. The NCERT guidelines which are now set to be release prescribe detailed rules such as infrastructure requirements, teacher-student ratio, roles and responsibilities of principal and minimum qualification for teachers. It will also specify learning outcomes from children who attend them.
The curriculum lays out three goals for the first and second year of preschool saying that children maintain good health, become effective communicators and connect with their environment. "Preparing a model curriculum and guideline for playschool was crucial as playschools were just thought of as a downward extension of formal schooling and parents did not have any reference on what minimum standards should they look for and how should young kids be taught," said an NCERT official. "We have tried to answer all of these in the guidelines."
Educationist Neelam Sood who has been with the National Institute of Education Planning and Research said it is a good step as long as the syllabus is not very rigid and allows kids to learn while playing. "The guidelines are a good idea and should give an idea to teachers to teach young children creatively without burdening them," she said.
Guidelines for pre-schools
Such schools should be away from traffic, ponds and wells, uncovered drains
Should have a boundary wall and outdoor play area
Should have CCTV camera on campus Teachers should have at least intermediate level education
At least 8 X6 square meter classrooms for 25 children
The teacher-student ratio of not more than 1: 25