The Union Education Ministry has again directed all states and Union territories to align with the National Education Policy 2020 the age of admission for Grade-I to 6+ years.
The states have also been advised to initiate the process of designing and running a two-year Diploma in Pre-School Education (DPSE) course. The course is expected to be designed by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and run through District Institutes of Education & Training (DIETs) under the supervision and hold of SCERTs.
An official press note said the National Education Policy recommends strengthening the learning of children at the ‘foundational stage’ as a national priority for the country.
The foundational stage consists of 5 years of learning opportunities for all children (between 3 to 8 years) that include 3 years of preschool education and 2 years of early primary Grade-I and Grade II.
The policy thus promotes seamless learning and development of children from pre-school to Grade- II. This can only be done by ensuring accessibility to three years of quality preschool education for all children studying in Anganwadis or Government/Government-aided, private and NGO-run preschool centers.
Besides, the most important factor at the foundational stage is the availability of qualified teachers who are specially trained in the age and developmentally-appropriate curriculum and pedagogy. The National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage(NCF-FS) has also been launched recently on 20 October 2022.