Unregulated play homes, a cause for concern

Play homes and day care centers have mushroomed across the City in recent years, but many of them are not regulated as they do not come under the purview of either the Education Department or the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD).

The government does not have any data on these centres and officials from the education department say that most of them are not even registered.

“In some cases, part of the residence or garage is converted into a play home. This is not correct, but we do not have the powers to check them,” said an education department official.

Speaking on the issue, Commissioner for Public Instruction, Mohammed Mohsin, said: “Play homes do not come under the Education department, we handle education from the age of six. We agree that there are many such centres in the City and there should be some check on it.”

He added that even though a meeting was held with DWCD officials in this regard, nothing fruitful emerged.

DWCD joint director Munireddy said nothing can be imposed until a set of rules are framed. He said that the Central government has been in the process of formulating rules for the last six months and this will include details like the common syllabus, play home size, teaching equipment, qualification of the teachers and the teaching mechanism.

Inputs from all states will be incorporated while framing the rules, he pointed out.

Meanwhile, educationalists demand rules as the foundation years of a child’s education is at stake. Niranjan Aradhya, Fellow and Programme Head of the Right to Equitable Quality Education Programme at the Centre for Child and the Law (CCL) at the National Law School of India University said wherever the children are, there is a need for recognition and a monitoring mechanism.

All institutions should be monitored, either by Education department or juvenile board, he said, adding that there should be a mechanism to check quality, care, protection and education.

A national policy for early childhood care and development is also being formulated, he added.

Dileep Ranjikar, CEO, Azim Premji Foundation, said in India early childhood education is neglected and there is a need for specialist teachers. He also rued that private schools charge heavily

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