If numeric and language abilities of children are in question, the East Singhbhum district education department is taking baby steps to change that picture.
In a bid to get children used to the idea of attending school and absorbing lessons right from Day One, the district education department and welfare department have proposed a more all-encompassing role for anganwadis.
They want at least another 100 anganwadi centres to double up as play schools for children in rural and urban areas. This is in addition to the 100 set up last year under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).
Officials at the district education department said children normally join from Class I in government schools. At that age, they were more interested in playing rather than in studies. Therefore, the concept of anganwadi centres doubling up as play schools for children between three and six years was necessary to ensure they got used to the idea of learning through pictures and charts.
“This programme has been designed to make students get accustomed to the school environment,” said Bindu Jha, co-ordinator for Early Child Care and Education, East Singhbhum.
“We plan to extend pre-schooling to all 1,722 anganwadi centres in the district, ” Jha added.
Hundred anganwadi sevikas have already received modules to run the centres. The centres receive Rs 2,000 annually for buying toys, pictures charts, slates, pencils, plastic letters, kitchen sets, ludo sets and other materials.