Bhubaneswar: In a bid to improve the quality of education at the elementary level, the Odisha government has decided to open play schools in selected Anganwadi centres (AWCs).
The state government will open play schools at the AWCs collocated with primary schools in urban, peri-urban and block headquarters. This will be implemented on the lines of English medium nursery schools. Customised with common English, the pre-school kids will be taught as per the NCERT curriculum.
With the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme, an important component under the SSA programme is aimed at providing early stimulation to the children of the three to six years age group.
This is to create an opportunity for girls to go to schools who are deprived of such rights due to the burden of sibling care.
According to the modalities finalised, the children of the play class (up to five-years-old) will be required to attend Anganwadi for supplementary nutrition programme between 9 am and 10 am. They are then required to participate in the academic activities under the play school guidance from 10 am to 12.30 pm before the mid-day meal from the AWC.
The government will also train two teachers (preferably women) from each school to handle kids. This is to ensure a proper transition from play class to Grade l and create learning situations that are child-friendly.
Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra chaired a high-level meeting recently and decided to open 5,000 play schools initially.
The departments of School and Mass Education (SME), Women and Child Development (W&CD) and SC/ST Development have been tasked to identify the 5,000 schools.