New Preschool Guidelines In India
2017- New Procedure for starting a preschool in India 2017
There can be no doubt about the arbitrary nature and the manner in which preschools (children 3-6 years) are run in our country. Both at the Anganwadi and at the private levels, these schools leave a lot to be desired. The infrastructure sucks, the teacher to child ration is highly skewed and the curriculum followed smacks of a total lack of planning.
The results are there for all of us to see. The children studying in these schools hardly have any rights of their own; there is a lot of abuse that goes on which causes great mental and physical trauma to these tender and impressionable minds. Parents are often unaware of the happenings and even when they do get to know, can hardly do anything about it.
Keeping in view all of the above, the Government has now finally acted. In conjunction with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, it has come out with clear criteria about the manner in which such preschools can be run. These guidelines are expected to bring about uniformity so as to eliminate chances of any haziness with regard to the Early Childhood Education System or the ECE.
To start with, the Government has laid out the broad parameters by coming out with clear definitions on:
- The overall role of institutions in delivering preschool education.
- The monitoring of the school through the nodal officer
- The mandate of running these schools only for the age group 3-6 years
- The responsibilities of the guardian
- The conditions to be satisfied by these schools before they start admitting children
The guidelines delve into the actual details of daily operations pertaining to preschools as below:
- One teacher and one caregiver for every 20 children.
- A clear boundary wall demarcating the school from other structures
- Sanitized toilets with soap, running water with towels for easy access to both normal and disabled children
- CCTV surveillance for the rest room as well as play area.
- Pest control to be done on a regular basis
- Sufficient fire protection measures
- Learning aids for the teachers based on the curriculum for each class
- The library should have books and relevant audio visual learning material
- Sports equipment in adequate numbers
- The first aid kit has to be easily accessible and should always be well stocked
- Every child should be medically examined once a quarter by doctors registered with the medical council
- School has to maintain records pertaining to the enrolment as well as attendance along with the fees paid. They should also maintain details of the medical examination of each child and all these have to be accessible for inspection.
- No child will be subjected to any monthly, quarterly or annual examination
- The play areas and other structures should only be used for the children aged 3-6 years
- Annual accounts have to be audited every year
- No capitation fee or donation shall be demanded from any parent
The government has also made it clear that if the above guidelines are not adhered to by the school, its certification can be withdrawn and the school would be derecognized.