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Anganwadi workers call off statewide stir in Punjab

They decided to call off their stir after resolution of their long pending demands through the intervention of the chief minister, an official release said.

punjab Updated: Nov 26, 2017 23:07 IST
Press Trust of India, Chandigarh
Punjab news,Anganwadi workers,Amarinder Singh
Punjab Anganwadi workers and helpers held demonstrations in several districts of the state to register their protest against the state government’s move to introduce pre-primary classes in state-run schools.(HT File Photo)

Anganwadi workers in Punjab on Sunday called off their statewide protest after chief minister Amarinder Singh assured them that the government would not shut the centres after pre-primary classes are started in primary schools.

The protest was being spearheaded by the Punjab Anganwadi Association.

They decided to call off their stir after resolution of their long pending demands through the intervention of the chief minister, an official release said.

On the directives of Singh, the school education, the social security and the women and child development departments worked out guidelines for the smooth functioning of anganwadi centres on premises of primary schools, it said here this evening.

Following a meeting between anganwadi workers, education minister Aruna Chaudhary and Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar in Dina Nagar on Sunday, the government came out with a categorical assurance that none of these centres would be closed after pre-primary classes are started in primary schools.

An official spokesperson said that ideally, all anganwadis should operate from primary schools and children enrolled in these centres should also be pre-primary class students.

In line with this, the departments of school education and social security should endeavour to gradually shift all anganwadi centres to primary schools, he said.

This would enable the anganwadi workers to continue with child care and nutrition support activities and allow teachers to impart education, the spokesperson said.

“Unfortunately, in the current framework, anganwadi workers and teachers are unable to focus on their core functions, thus affecting the quality and standards of both.

“The move to introduce pre-primary classes is aimed at ensuring that these functions could be facilitated in the manner they should be,” he said.

The spokesperson said that in cases where it is difficult to shift the anganwadi centres to schools, efforts should be made to accommodate them gradually.

Till such time it is achieved, the teachers should visit the anganwadi centres to impart pre-primary education, he said.

The government has decided that the pre-primary education, to begin with, should be restricted to an hour a day and it should be through play-way methods, the spokesperson said.

First Published: Nov 26, 2017 23:07 IST