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Saturday, 5 December 2020

Chandigarh to introduce ‘Vatika’ class in govt schools

Naina Mishra
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 4

In line with the New Education Policy (NEP), the UT Education Department has started preparations to introduce an additional class before Class I. It will be called the 'Vatika' class.

The department is waiting for the official notification from the Centre to introduce the class. However, from the 2021-22 session, all government schools will have a pre-nursery class and an anganwadi centre.

At present, children in the age group of three to six are not covered in the X+II structure and they get admission to Class I at age of six. In the new 5+3+3+4 structure, a strong base of early childhood care and education (ECCE) from the age of three is also included. It aims at promoting better overall learning, development and well-being of children.

Alka Mehta, Deputy Director of Education, Chandigarh, said, "As per the NEP, children, who are three years old, will get admission to the pre-nursery class in government schools. The nursery class will be for children who are four years old. Earlier, five-year-old children were admitted to Class I. Now, six-year-old children will get admission to Class I and five-year-olds to the Vatika class."

"We are conceptualising this development as per the NEP so that whenever the ministry issues a notification, we can implement it," Alka added.

At present, all government schools in Chandigarh have pre-nursery and nursery, the only two classes before Class I.

"The intention behind introducing the 'Vatika' class is to prepare the child coming from anganwadi centre or pre-nursery for Class I with the help of concept building. We will ensure that all children going to Class I have studied the same syllabus," said Alka. "From this session, we are introducing pre-nursery in all government schools and also mapping anganwadi centres with government schools," Alka added.

The NEP envisages that prior to the age of five, every child moves to the preparatory class or 'Balvatika' (before Class I), which has an ECCE-qualified teacher. Learning in preparatory class will primarily be based on the playway method and focus on developing cognitive, affective and psychomotor abilities and early literacy and numeracy.

In many private schools, the age for the entry-level class is two and a half years. Such schools may have to change their system according to the NEP as children, who are three-year-old, will get admission to entry-level class.

from The Tribune

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