Telangana

Migrant children return to pre-school in Nallagandla

Given that the workers are hail from various States including Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Bihar, the centres cater to children speaking in their respective native language. File.   | Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G

While educational institutions in Telangana reopened from September 1, a learning centre for children of migrant workers in Nallagandla, too, has reopened. Around 30 children up to the age of six are provided pre-school education, preparing them for formal education. Their mothers said that with the children taken care of until evening, they too have resumed work.

Since several high-rise buildings have and are coming up in Nallagandla, thousands of construction workers stay near the sites. The ‘Child Care and Learning Center’ run by Aide et Action, an NGO, was closed following the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in the State in March 2020.

Regional manager of the NGO, Suresh Gutta said they run eight such centres in and around Hyderabad which have reopened since September 1.

Given that the workers are hail from various States including Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Bihar, the centres cater to children speaking in their respective native language. “It is like a mini-India. They are taught basics such as the alphabet and numbers. The classes are taught using pictures. They are provided one meal by Integrated Child Development Services,” said G. Bhikshapati, State coordinator of the NGO.

He added that they conduct a baseline survey to know how many workers and how many children reside in a locality, which helps them decide if a learning centre has to be opened.

M. Lakshmi, a native of Mahbubnagar, said her two children study at the centre. The family returned to their hometown during the first lockdown last year. During the second lockdown, however, they stayed put in the city. Though her husband worked, she had to stay back at home to take care of the children.

“Now, my children are at the learning centre till evening. So, we too can go to work now,” said Ms. Lakshmi, who works in nearby flats as a maid. Two other women in the locality said they have also been able to resume work as their children have started going to the centre again.

K. Neela, whose two sons study at a nearby government school, said that when schools were shut, their children could not access online education due to erratic power supply. “They started to forget what they had learnt. Now that schools have opened up, they are back in the classroomss after one-and-a-half years,” she said.


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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 4:20:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/migrant-children-return-to-pre-school/article36537584.ece

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