Chennai

New playschool syllabus a step backward?

The current syllabus outlined has a number of issues, including the assessment schedule. –File Photo  

The new draft playschool syllabus released by State Council for Education Research and Technology earlier this month could be a step backward for the pre-schoolers in the state, experts say.

The syllabus, which outlines how playschools should function and the various milestones for children between the age of one-and-a-half and three years, should have been based on the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) standards of UNICEF, or even the Government of India’s, they say.

“In most countries there is a disclaimer with the curricular framework saying that it is not a rigid or complete guideline, but there is no disclaimer in this document, implying it is the norm for all playschools,” Rewathi Raman Vishewar, co-founder of Playschool for Child Rights, an NGO that deals with playschool curriculum.

The current syllabus outlined has a number of issues, including the assessment schedule. “Each child has his or her own rate of growth and development,” he said.

The document had also missed what and how to teach in terms of numbers, geometry, measurement and readiness for core operations, science and several important core subjects.

Abhidha Seth of Playschool for Child Rights, added that the curriculum has also trivialised several crucial items in child development.

“The syllabus says that each month will have a different theme – June will be about Myself, July about Fruits and so on. What will happen, then, to children who join in the month of September or October? They will miss several months of portions,” she said, adding that the ECCE norms in most countries is that every subject taught should be repeated thrice before the child will be able to fully grasp it. In this case, there was no space for repetition.

In terms of the time table outlined in the syllabus, educationists feel there should be more flexibility. For example, Circle Time, which “Provides opportunities to listen speak and sing songs,” is scheduled for half an hour. “Children from one and a half to two-and-a-half years have very short attention spans. Forcing them into one activity like circle time will put undue pressure on them,” Bhavani Kumar, founder, Patasala Montessori explained.

While there is a need for a curricular framework for playschools, the current syllabus is not realistic, and does not take into account the nature of little children, educationists averred.

The SCERT is currently accepting suggestions to improve the current draft. The play school syllabus is available athttp://www.tn.gov.in

/schooleducation/

draft_regulations/

playschool_syllabus_

draft_080715.pdf.



Educationists feel the framework is unrealistic and could affect child development




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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 11:07:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/new-playschool-syllabus-a-step-backward/article7415330.ece

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