Taking a cue from private schools, the State government has chalked out a plan to start play classes in government primary schools in urban and semi-urban areas in an attempt to develop a strong readiness of kids for the foundational literacy and numeracy in grade I to Ill to improve quality education, a senior official of School and Mass Education Department (SME) said on Tuesday.
Opening of the Play Class in the Primary Schools (in the collocated AWCs) will help to ensure maximum enrolment of children in the Government Schools and the move will attract parents to enroll their wards in government institutions.
This concept hitherto was the exclusive preserve of the private schools. However the State government has initiated the steps to include the playschool model in government elementary schools for inclusive development, the official said.
Play Class may be attached to the Government Elementary School. Any other children apart from the collocated AWC, who desire to take admission in the play class will be given admission. The NCERT curriculum, with customization, will be followed in the Play Class. The SME Department will be in charge of the academic activities of the Play Class. Initially, 5000 Schools with collocated AWCs (urban, semi-urban, and Block headquarters) will be taken for this purpose, the official informed.
The SME Department, Women and Child Development Department, and Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes Development Department will jointly identify the 5000 schools (with collocated AWCs). The District Education Officers, District Welfare Officers, and District Social Welfare Officers will be responsible for mapping the Schools at the district level.
The academic matter of the Play Class will be the responsibilities of the Government School. The CRCCs and DIETs will monitor and provide academic support to the teachers.
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, after that the children will take the Mid-day meal from the AWC.
At least two teachers (preferably female) will be imparted training from each school on handling small children, ensuring the proper transition from play class to Grade l, creating child-friendly learning situations, etc.
Activity-based curriculum, guided nature study, use of fun activities, use of flipbooks will be adopted in the Play Class. It has also been decided that the activities of the Play Class will be in the light of the NCERT curriculum with exposure to common English words and rhymes etc will be followed in the Play Class.
The bi-lingual learning materials will be used in play class. Besides, the medium of instruction in the tribal-dominated areas will be in the tribal language.