oppn parties Playschools: Set Minimum Standards

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  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
Playschools: Set Minimum Standards

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The government has decided to regulate the business of playschools – those institutions that admit children as young as 1 year in either the Montessori or other systems. It is thinking of fixing the minimum age for admissions to such schools at 3 years. It is true that some unscrupulous entrepreneurs have been cashing in on the fears of parents to prepare their children for admission into reputed schools. These parents are concerned that their child would be ‘left out’ if he or she is not admitted to playschool, as there is a misconception that these schools ‘prepare’ the child for admission to secondary schools. This misconception has in part been generated by some such schools ‘promising’ admission in reputed secondary schools.

But it is also true that playschools play an important role in the development of the child although it is debatable if 1 year olds should be admitted. The Montessori system of child development, as also the new ones that have come up like progressive education, multiple intelligence mapping, playway method, holistic learning, are all being followed to train the child in various ways like recognizing colours, shapes, sounds and alphabets. These schools also teach the child to mix with others of his or her age and react in given situations. Hence, their importance is not to be discounted.

The government’s efforts to regulate are laudable because in the absence of any regulatory framework, these schools are being started by all and sundry in every lane of towns and cities, some without any concern for the safety of the child. While the more reputed ones take care to have excellent premises, most others just make do with any hall partitioned into small, cramped classrooms. Absence of even small playgrounds is another area of concern. Then there is the need for qualified teachers. Most playschools just keep ‘minders’ instead of trained teachers to cut down on salaries. This can adversely affect child development.

The government must ensure that minimum standards are met by people wishing to start a playschool. These standards should specify the minimum educational qualification of person starting the school, requirement of space, appointment of trained teachers and the Principal, playground and equipment, toilets and medical and first-aid facilities. But the government must not interfere with the day to day working of these schools. Independence must be allowed if the minimum standards are met.