The state government is exploring the option of bringing pre-school education within the ambit of the school education department.
School education now covers primary, secondary and higher secondary sections of schools, where children in the age group of six to 18 years study between classes I and XII.
The government has asked the 19-member committee it constituted to revamp the school curriculum to also come up with a comprehensive policy to include pre-primary/ pre-school education under the school education system, said a member of the panel.
The government is examining whether pre-school education can be made a part of school education. We are trying to design a balanced pre-school curriculum, integrating play and work,” added the committee member.
Private bodies run the nursery and kindergarten schools that have mushroomed in the city and district towns.
Underprivileged children below six are covered under the Integrated Child Development Schemes (ICDS) of the child welfare department. “The programme focuses more on the nutritional and health status of children than on education. Those who go to ICDS centres are taught through a non-formal education format. So the government can do a lot in pre-school education,” said an official in the school education department.
“A structured pre-school education policy can strengthen a child’s foundation. Hence, we have asked the panel to examine how we can improve the pre-school education system,” the official added.
The syllabus committee member said a number of proposals had been incorporated into the report to improve pre-school education.
“A separate section in the school education department will look after pre-school education. We can work with the child welfare department to draw up the curriculum,” he said.