One year after the completion of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the Prime Minister announced a number of schemes, including ‘Vidya Pravesh’, to transform education in India. The aim of this scheme is to bring the urban concept of play schools in rural classrooms.

Preparatory modules

Manish Gorg, Joint Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education, explains, “This school preparation module is for all first graders with and without preschool education. The goal is for all children to be ready for first grade. ”



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To this end, the National Council of Educational Training and Research (NCERT) has developed a three-month game-based module that the States and Union Territories (UTs) can adopt or adopt as they see fit. “The module contains 12 weeks of play-based instruction at the beginning of 1st grade. It is designed to increase a child’s pre-literacy, pre-numbers, cognitive and social skills. The module emphasizes three broad developmental goals, core competencies and concepts of development; The educational process in the form of activities and worksheets used by teachers; Garg made it clear that children need to achieve their primary education results at the end of three months.

Lack of teachers

The biggest hurdle in introducing this concept at the rural level is the lack of teachers, says Ruchira Singhal, founder and director of Future Starz, Merut. “At a young age, all children need empathy and encouragement from their teachers to try something new. I have met many young girls with Basic Training Certificate (BTC) and Nursery Teacher Training (NTT) degrees who may have formal training, but lack these two basic requirements, ”he said.


Ask these girls to explore rural schools, and they won’t agree, added Singhal.

The convenience of going to the village

Reena Dhila, founder of Shishia Waldorf School in New Mumbai, believes that rural children have free access to the natural environment, which is a fundamental element of growth. “In the first level and in the second city, parents give ‘helicopter’ training, which hinders the child’s creativity. In rural areas, parents allow their children to become one with nature, helping them to develop curiosity, “she says.

Dhila adds that young children in rural areas may not need pre-schooling or sports education. “The idea of ​​a three-month pre-schooling module is appropriate in a rural background. In the case of teachers, children in this area do not need trained teachers but someone takes care of them when they are around and their natural curiosity helps them learn, ”he shares.


Seen as social work

Some pre-school teachers just want to try something new. Malvika Jain, a former mother-teacher at Sardar Dun Public School in Jodhpur, is a professional consultant but wanted to diversify her profile. “I was hired based on my qualifications and spoken English. Not everyone is excluded from being a teacher for preschoolers, because the job requires patience, ”he says.

Although Jain thinks that taking a similar job in rural areas would be a negative step in his professional growth, he said it is a profile most suitable for social workers. “Education at that age means building a value system and providing them with holistic education. I think NGOs, nuns and widows would be most suitable for this work profile.

Getting the right direction

Singhal says that our elders have involved us in activities that naturally combine our abilities with coarse and fine motor skills, cognitive behavior and hand-eye coordination. “The same is needed for new modules at the rural level. Rural women should be given basic training as they will be the best guide for the children in their area, ”she shared.


The move will also help children learn Indian handicrafts, local folk music and mother tongue, Dila added. “I didn’t go to school until I was seven, but I learned everything from my grandmother. Today, I believe that my success is due to this connection to my roots. So, local women, who understand the natural surroundings of the child, will be the best teachers, ”she said.

Garg said, “NCERT has developed an integrated program of teacher training, known as NISHTHA (National Initiative for School Heads and Overall Advancement of Teachers). It gives teachers the opportunity to share their problems with resource persons but also presents solutions to these problems through their activities.

Under NISHTHA, a customized package is being designed for teachers at the primary level of education to meet the continuity, specific content and educational requirements from pre-school to primary class. “The average student-teacher ratio (PTR) in rural areas is better than the primary level norm. However, the actual deployment is made by the states concerned, for which they are constantly followed up and evaluated, ”he said.

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