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Posted at: Jun 27, 2019, 7:58 AM; last updated: Jun 27, 2019, 7:58 AM (IST)

UT to impart five years of preschool education

Kids between 3 & 8 yrs to be considered under ‘Foundational Stage’
UT to impart five years of preschool education
At present, the preschool education includes children between three and six years. file photo

Naina Mishra
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 26

The preschool education guidelines of the UT Education Department are likely to be amended to bring these in line with the draft of the National Education Policy-2019 that categorises children in up to three years of preschool (three to six-year-olds) to the end of Grade 2 (age 8) as a single a pedagogical unit, “Foundational Stage”.

At present, the preschool education in the UT includes children in the age group of three to six years.

In the recent draft proposed by the SCERT, Chandigarh, two years of preschool education was suggested before class I – preschool I and preschool II. As per the UT draft, preschool I will be the entry point for admission to the preschool programme. Children will move to class I after completing preschool II.

SCERT Director Surinder Dahiya said, “We had proposed two years of preschool education, which has been extended to five years as per the draft of the new education policy. Naturally, we will also amend our state draft as the directions have been issued to the NCERT for framing the curriculum of the Foundational Stage.”

Changes are expected in the latest draft of the UT to include five years of the Foundational Stage – three years of preprimary school and Grade 1 and 2.

The new education policy suggests that children in the age group of three to eight years should have access to a flexible, multifaceted, multilevel, play-based, activity-based, and discovery-based education.

Because of the multi-level, play-based nature of the curriculum and pedagogy framework for early childhood education in the age range 3-8 years, no hard separation of ages in this range would be required for anganwadis and preschools, barring when needed for social reasons or due to limitation of institutional infrastructure.

The need for change

  • The draft National Education Policy says that at present, there is a severe learning crisis in India
  • Children are enrolled in primary school but fail to attain even basic skills such as foundational literacy and numeracy
  • A major part of the crisis appears to be occurring well before children even enter Grade 1
  • Too many kids are enrolling in Grade 1 before the age of six due to lack of suitable preprimary options
  • These children remain the most behind in primary school and beyond.

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