Other States

Odisha proposes to open play classes in government primary schools

Access to playschools may no more be a privilege of children of well-off parents living in urban areas. The Odisha government has proposed to start play classes in government primary schools to help children develop a strong readiness for foundational literacy and numeracy in grade I to III.

As per the proposal deliberated in a group of senior secretaries, School and Mass Education, Women and Child Development, and SC, ST Development departments will jointly identify the 5000 schools with collocated anganwadi centres. Initially, these playschools are proposed to start in urban or semi-urban areas.

A comprehensive guideline and responsibility matrix will be prepared before going ahead with implementation of the play school concept.

It is suggested that the children of the play class (age of 5) will attend the Anganwadi for supplementary nutrition programme from 9 am to 10 am, then participate in the academic activities under the guidance of the school from 10 am to 12.30 pm. Subsequently, the children will take the mid-day meal from the anganwadi centres.

At least two teachers (preferably female) in each school will be trained on handling small children, ensuring proper transition from play class to Grade I and creating child-friendly learning situation.

Teacher Education and State Council of Educational Research and Training (TE and SCERT) in collaboration with W and CD department will prepare materials, training packages and impart training through the District Institute of Educational and Training (DIET).

As per the suggestion of Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, initially the anganwadi workers will remain present in the class for some portion of the day with the school teachers and provide hand holding support to the children and teacher.

“Gradually, once the children are acquainted with the school teacher, the AWW will be withdrawn. It was decided that the matter will be considered during preparation of the guidelines,” said the proceeding of the meeting.

It was also suggested to adopt activity-based curriculum, guided nature study, use of fun activities and use of flip books in the play class. As per the decision, the activities of the play class will be in the light of the National Council for Educational Research and Training curriculum and common English words and rhymes will be followed in the Play Class.

As far as tribal children are concerned, the medium of instruction in the tribal dominated areas will be in their mother tongue.

The play classes proposed to be opened in the primary schools is expected to help ensure maximum enrolment of children in the government schools. The proposal is waiting for formal approval.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 4:24:26 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/odisha-proposes-to-open-play-classes-in-government-primary-schools/article38281993.ece