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Crucial meet to chart a new course for child education

PANAJI: The broad-based committee constituted by the government for the purpose of looking into various aspects of pre-primary and primary education and provide a roadmap for development of child education in general and pre-primary and primary education in particular will hold its meeting soon.

The committee is also expected to make recommendations as regards regulation of such institutions.

Coming out with this information, director of education G P Bhat on Thursday said the committee has been notified by the government and would start its work immediately by holding a meeting soon.

Bhat is the member secretary of the committee.

He said the terms of reference for the committee includes examining the current status of pre-primary and primary education in Goa in the government sector, examining the status of pre-primary and primary education in non-aided institutions in Goa, suggesting mechanism to improve enrolment at pre-primary and primary level in the government sector, and suggesting general measures to upgrade pre-primary and primary education in general, in the state.

The department of education has been making attempts to get pre-primary schools in Goa to register with it, so as to regulate their functioning. The department also desires to draw guidelines for pre-primary schools in their functioning, thus aiding in their regulation. Furthermore, it is planning to fix minimum area a pre-primary school should possess, so as to be allowed to operate, besides deciding the nature of the syllabus these schools should follow. The committee could also touch upon these aspects.

The broad-based committee includes Ramesh Panse, M S Kamat, Surekha Dixit, Anil Samant, P R Nadkarni, Dilip Betkikar, Dr Newman Fernandes, Dr Uday Ballikar, Dr P R Pednekar, Kamlakar Mhalshi, and Ulhas Bhatikar, besides representatives of Diocesan Society of Education, Vidya Vikas Mandal, Goa Vidya Prasarak Mandal, and Saraswat Education Society. Vijay Hede of Kings School, the chairman of Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, directors of higher and technical education, Dr Narayan Desai, Kalidas Marathe, the director of the State Council of Educational Research and Training and the principal of District Institute Of Education and Training are also on the committee.

P R Nadkarni, one of the members of the committee told ‘The Navhind Times’  that constitution of such committee has been a long-pending demand of the Gomantak Bal Shikshan Parishad, a NGO he is associated with, which works in the field of pre-primary and primary education.

“Now that the committee has been set up, we would take up all related issues including regulation of these institutions, which are called by various names such as nurseries, kindergartens, balwadis, anganwadis, and so on,” he noted.

Incidentally, The Right of Child to Free and Compulsory Education  Act, 2009 sees pre-primary schooling as ‘early childhood care and education’ that prepares children for primary school. However, lack of control over pre-schools in Goa, allows them to operate even from dingy premises and lets them impart a syllabus that could be inappropriate for early years of learning.

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