The National Education Policy is recommending three years of preschool before class 1 under right to education act overseen and regulated by the Ministry of Human Resources (HRD) instead of private pre-schools and anganwadis. The Anganwadi system has been under the Ministry of Child Development (WCD) for more than four decades. An inter-ministerial taskforce to chalk out the roadmap for smooth transition by the end of 2019. This move will entail addition costs to HRD Ministry in the form of teacher recruitment and training, infrastructure and learning materials, nutritional aspects etc.

Although the anganwadis have provided certain cognitive stimulation, day care and play facilities but are a bit behind on the educational aspects of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE). Currently they are deficient in supplies and infrastructure and trained teachers for imparting early childhood education.

The draft policy proposes an integrated and flexible curriculum framework of play, activity, discovery and exposure to three languages for 3 to 8 year olds. This will be implemented by training and strengthening anganwadi capabilities. Every facet of early childhood education must be under HRD Ministry and a joint task force from health, HRD and WCD to draft a detailed plan of operational and financial implications of the integration of early childhood education and school education system.

Source: The Hindu