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Karnataka anganwadis to be upgraded as government montessories

'The idea is to upgrade anganawadis as montessories and offer bilingual education. Children will be provided uniforms, shoes, books and school bags. Even transfer certificates will be made available for kids to join higher grades,' explained state minister for Women & Child Development, Laxmi Hebbalkar.
Last Updated : 24 June 2024, 15:00 IST

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Bengaluru: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday decided to constitute an expert committee on upgrading anganawadis where kindergarten sections will be started, ending the tug-of-war between the departments of women & child and school education.

Siddaramaiah had convened a meeting with Women & Child Development Minister Laxmi Hebbalkar and School Education Minister Madhu Bangarappa to sort out their differences.

Laxmi had opposed the education department's decision to start pre-primary (kindergarten) at government schools. Her department argued that pre-primary sections in schools would encroach upon the activities of Anganwadis, which cater to nutritional needs of pre-school kids.

After listening to both sides, Siddaramaiah decided to constitute an expert committee. It was also decided in the meeting not to open any new pre-primary or kindergarten sections in government schools. Instead, the government will upgrade the anganwadis.

"The CM has agreed to upgrade anganawadis as montessories across the state," Laxmi told reporters.

She further stated that the order already issued by the Department of School Education & Literacy to start 2,600 pre-primary sections in government scholls in Kalyana Karnataka region will continue.

"The idea is to upgrade anganawadis as montessories and offer bilingual education. Children will be provided uniforms, shoes, books and school bags. Even transfer certificates will be made available for kids to join higher grades," Laxmi explained.

Karnataka has some 65,000 Anganwadis. In the first phase, 9,000 Anganwadis will be upgraded. "There's no question of removing those working with Anganwadis. We have Anganwadi staff who are graduates and postgraduates. There's no issue with providing quality education," Laxmi said.

Anganwadi workers across the state were staging a protest at Freedom Park seeking withdrawal of the education department's decision to start pre-primary sections in government schools.

"Finally, our demands are met and we welcome the decision taken by the CM," CITU president S Varalakshmi, who represents Anganwadi workers, said.

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Published 24 June 2024, 15:00 IST

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