Govt ready with draft policy to regulate pre-schools

The state government has prepared a policy draft for regulation of pre-primary schools –nursery, junior and senior kindergarten -and proposed to bring the completely unregulated education sector under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

The state-level policy is likely to be announced shortly and the government may come out with legislative changes if required.

The government has also urged the Centre to bring the pre-primary schools under the strict regulations under the proposed National Education Policy.

“Currently, the government does not have any registration process for the private pre-primary schools. There is no uniform curriculum, no guidelines for basic facilities like playground, learning equipment for children, minimum infrastructure required, qualification of the teachers etc., so the new policy and regulations are required for this sector,“ said a senior government official.

“The parents are becoming increasingly aware and admit their kids to school from early age. The rise in the private schools can be partially attributed to the fact that the private elementary schools are generally coupled with KG.Extending RTE to pre-school will increase the lear ning outcome of the children at the elementary level and reduce the gap between the quality of output between private and government schools.

Sources further said that a committee under the chairmanship of Sudhir Mankad, former chief secretary, has also recommended several regulations and guidelines for pre-school education in Gujarat, which the state government has decided to adopt in principle.

The Section 11 of the RTE Act also empowers the state government to form regulations to prepare children above the age of 3 years for elementary education and to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of 6 years. The Act also suggests that the government may take necessary arrangement to provide free preschool education for such children.

“The CABE committee report 2005-06 has also suggested programmes for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), like Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), and proposed convergence to the extent possible. While ECCE will continue to be provided through anganwadis under ICDS, the committee has recommended that additional pre-school facilities be provided to children,“ added the official.

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