ECA demands nationwide policy for safety of pre-schools
On Saturday, the early childhood association launched a mobile application that can be accessed by schools across the country to follow a uniform teacher training module.mumbai Updated: Feb 10, 2018 23:46 IST
Pre-schools across the country for long have gone ungoverned. While a series of cases in the past have highlighted the need for stricter governing laws in place, none have been implemented yet.
Taking this into consideration, the early childhood association (ECA) has demanded the need for a nationwide policy that covers safety standards and regulates the quality of education imparted in each of these centres.
“Safety of children should not be a knee jerk reaction, but a way of life at all schools. The government needs to implement a uniform policy that can be followed by all pre-schools, crèches, day care centres and others that deal with children below the age of six,” said Swati Popat Vats, president of the ECA, India.
She said that at present, even the teacher training curricula across India differ from one state to another.
“How can teachers from two different states be trained with different curriculum, when the aim is the same? This is the first step towards bringing about uniformity,” she said.
On Saturday, the ECA launched a mobile application that can be accessed by schools across the country to follow a uniform teacher training module.
While the right to education (RTE) Act covers all schools from Class 1 to 8, experts for long have demanded a similar uniform policy to cover pre-primary schools and other bodies looking into early childhood education.
The ECA has now approached the government to make safety standards and checks on quality in pre-schools, day care centres as well as crèches, a policy.
“There needs to be some governance over this sector. As of now all the rules only govern land used and everything else is left to the whim of the school management, which needs to change,” said a principal of a pre-school in Andheri.
With the hope to get better insight into the status of early childhood education in our country, members of the ECA have also decided to conduct an audit of existing schools across India and share details of the same with the government.
“Even government officials need to know what exactly is happening at the ground level. Hopefully we will see positive changes soon,” said Vats.
Following the case of a 10-month old child being assaulted by a caretaker at a day care centre in Navi Mumbai, the state government had recently decided to regulate thousands of pre-schools mushrooming in the state.
The final decision on this policy, however, is still pending.
“A decision will be announced soon,” said an official from the state education department.