State plans to open 200 pre-primary schools in each dist

Anganwadis may be converted into Chinnara Chili-Pili kendras

State plans to open 200 pre-primary schools in each dist

It is a plan that has the potential to give pre-primary private schools a run for their money. 

Keen on imparting pre-primary education on its own, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is working on a plan to upgrade or convert anganwadis into pre-primary schools all over the State, in association with the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD). 

Developing such pre-primary government schools is part of a larger plan of the DPI called, ‘Shala Shikshana Samarasya Vidya Kendra’ that aims to strengthen existing infrastructre and resources in governments schools.  
 ‘Chinnara Chili-Pili Kendras,’ as these schools will be called, will admit children aged between three and four years into LKG and four and five years into UKG. While the DPI will appoint teachers and other staff to impart education to children, the anganwadi staff on the other hand will look after the basic needs of the children such as their health, nutrition and cleanliness. 

The curriculum of the proposed schools will be designed in such a manner that children need not have to carry books or other stationery as they will be readily available at these centres. The aim is also to facilitate the development of psychomotor learning. 

Each school will be provided with various playing articles for the overall development of children. They will also have various articles such as toothbrush, pastes, oil, towels and first-aid facility for their good grooming. Uniforms, shoes and belts will also be provided to children.

These schools will be opened only in those areas where there is a minimum of 25 admissions. “The stage of pre-primary learning is a very crucial one. This step is therefore aimed at strengthening this crucial stage and, bridging the gap in learning when a child enters the stage of primary education,” said Mohammed Mohsin, commissioner, DPI. 

Each district will have 200 such schools, which will add up to as many as 6,800 across the State. The estimated outlay for the plan is fixed at Rs 110.5 crore. While the plan is to convert anganwadis into such learning centres, the DPI is also open to starting such schools at the existing primary schools. 

“This will provide for easy monitoring and also make it easy for these children to get benefits of mid-day meals and Ksheera Bhagya schemes. Moreover, the existing headmasters and teachers will help in better administration of these centres,” said Mohsin.    
    The concept behind the Chinnara Chili-Pili Kendra is, however, not new. Similar centres are being jointly run by the DPI and the DWCD in Hassan district under the Makkala Mane scheme. Speaking to the Deccan Herald, Gurneet Tej, director, DWCD said: “There is definitely a need to have more such centres and, its increase in a systematic manner is a welcome move. We will be happy to help the DPI,” said Tej.

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