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Sanjay Kumar

Meeting Chaired by Secretary of School Education & Literacy Focuses on Early Childhood Education

Sanjay Kumar, the Secretary of School Education & Literacy under the Ministry of Education, led a pivotal meeting at the Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi. The primary agenda of the gathering was to strategize and work towards the overarching objectives of Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE).

Representatives from various governmental bodies including the Ministry of Women & Child Development (MoWCD), states, and autonomous entities from the Department of School Education & Literacy (DoSE&L) graced the occasion, emphasizing a collaborative effort towards enriching ECCE initiatives nationwide.

In alignment with the National Curriculum Framework-Foundational Stage (NCF-FS), which advocates for a seamless transition and high-quality ECCE, Shri Sanjay Kumar underscored the significance of every stakeholder's role in ensuring its success. He commended the efforts already undertaken by MoWCD and different States/Union Territories in this regard.

During the deliberations, the imperative need for establishing three Balvatikas, catering to children aged 3 to 6, as pre-primary facilities in all Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Kendriya Vidyalayas was stressed. Additionally, the proposal to co-locate Anganwadis with primary schools at the village level, in collaboration with the Ministry of Women & Child Development, was put forward to facilitate seamless transitions from preschool to Grade 1.

A recommendation was made to integrate the utilization of Jaadui Pitara, a specially designed toolkit for enriched learning experiences, within government schools offering pre-primary classes. To ensure the efficacy of these tools, it was suggested that the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) collaborate with state authorities to assess the suitability of existing learning materials, aligning them with the goals outlined in NCF-FS.

Furthermore, to enhance monitoring mechanisms, a proposal was made for the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Women & Child Development to collaborate in linking Poshan Tracker and UDISE+ data systems to track transitions from pre-primary to Class 1. This, coupled with the recommendation for states to define parameters and employ Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for the procurement of Jaadui Pitara materials, aims at fostering transparency and efficiency.

Deliberations also encompassed the standardization of branding for various programs such as NIPUN Bharat, Jaadui Pitara, e-Jaadui Pitara, and Vidya Pravesh across different states to augment visibility and recognition.

In line with maintaining consistency and effectiveness, it was proposed that the adopted and adapted versions of Jaadui Pitara align closely with the prescribed learning outcomes curated by NCERT. Additionally, NCERT pledged to extend support to State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs) in adhering to designated Learning Outcomes.

Lastly, the meeting emphasized the critical necessity for comprehensive training programs for preschool teachers and Anganwadi Workers (AWWs), acknowledging their pivotal roles in shaping the early educational experiences of children.

The discussions held during the meeting reflect a concerted effort towards fortifying the foundation of Early Childhood Care & Education, paving the way for a brighter and more equitable future for the nation's youngest learners.

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