Draft NEP proposes formal education from age of three

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Anganwadis

Mains level : Features of New Education Policy



News

Draft NEP on early childhood education

  • All Indian children could soon enter the formal education system at the age of three, with the draft National Education Policy (NEP) projecting an expansion of the RTE Act.
  • It aims to cover the three years of preschool before Class 1.
  • It wants early childhood education to be overseen and regulated by the Ministry of HRD as part of the school system.
  • This will be in addition to the private pre-schools and anganwadis that currently cater to the 3-to-6 years age group.
  • The draft Policy suggests a new integrated curricular framework for 3 to 8-year olds with a flexible system based on play, activity and discovery, and beginning exposure to three languages from age 3 onwards.

Upheaval of Anganwadi System

  • The NEP could result in an upheaval in the anganwadi system which has been overseen by the Ministry of WCD for more than four decades.
  • Additional costs will come in the form of teacher recruitment and training, infrastructure and learning materials, as well as nutritional aspects (including the proposal to provide breakfast to young children).
  • The draft Policy praises the contribution of anganwadis to improving health and nutrition, but notes that their record in education is not so strong.

Flaws in Anganwadis

  • They are currently quite deficient in supplies and infrastructure for education.
  • As a result, they tend to contain more children in the 2-4 year age range and fewer in the educationally critical 4-6 year age range.
  • They also have few teachers trained in or specially dedicated to early childhood education.

Anganwadis can do better

  • The new framework would be implemented by training and strengthening anganwadi capabilities and linking them to a local primary school, co-locating anganwadis and pre-schools with primary schools, or building stand-alone pre-schools also linked to a local primary school.
Primary and Secondary Education – RTE, Education Policy, SEQI, RMSA, Committee Reports, etc.
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