Karnataka govt. to form expert committee to decide on the mode of providing pre-primary education at anganwadis

This comes as a major relief for thousands of anganwadi workers across Karnataka as they feared that these centres would be closed down if pre-primary classes were to be started at all government schools

Updated - June 25, 2024 12:55 am IST

Published - June 24, 2024 10:00 pm IST - Bengaluru

Members of Karnataka Rajya Anganwadi Karyakarteyaru Mattu Sahayakiyara federation staging a protest against the LKG and UKG initiative being started in government schools which undermines the anganwadi system, also demanding quality food supply to anganwadi centres, and increasing honorarium, at Freedom park in Bengaluru on Monday, June 24.

Members of Karnataka Rajya Anganwadi Karyakarteyaru Mattu Sahayakiyara federation staging a protest against the LKG and UKG initiative being started in government schools which undermines the anganwadi system, also demanding quality food supply to anganwadi centres, and increasing honorarium, at Freedom park in Bengaluru on Monday, June 24. | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

The State government has now decided to constitute an expert committee to decide on the mode of providing pre-primary education — Early Child Care and Education (ECCE) — at anganwadis across the State, except in the Kalyana Karnataka region. This comes as a major relief for thousands of anganwadi workers across the State as they feared that these centres would be closed down if pre-primary classes were to be started at all government schools. 

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with Laxmi Hebbalkar, Minister for Women and Child Development and representatives of Kalyana Karnataka Regional Development Board, regarding the strong opposition from anganwadi workers about opening pre-primary classes in government schools, on Monday, June 24. Speaking to presspersons after the meeting, Ms. Hebbalkar announced the decision to form an expert committee. 

The State government had recently announced starting pre-primary classes at 1,008 government schools in the Kalyana Karnataka region and 578 other schools in the State, from this academic year. The Hindu had reported extensively on the issue. The Chief Minister has now assured that the State government will not expand pre-primary classes in any government school apart from 2,786 schools for which they have already been approved. He has also assured that 321 anganwadis in the jurisdiction of 1,008 schools in the Kalyana Karnataka region will not be colocated. 

A press release from the Chief Minister’s Office stated that those anganwadi workers, who have a minimum qualification of pre-university, will be trained and retained as teachers for pre-primary classes. He also assured that the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) will continue to be implemented through anganwadis across the State. Karnataka government has now assured job security for all anganwadi workers. 

“It has been decided to provide pre-primary education at anganwadi centers in both Kannada and English languages. We aim to provide quality education and nutritious food. In this regard, the CM has agreed to upgrade anganwadis. It has been decided to provide uniforms, books, and bags to the children through the Women and Child Development Department. In addition, steps will be taken to issue Transfer Certificate (TC) like in  schools,” she said.

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