The NCERT is working on finalising a national curriculum for playschools across the country.
Work on preparing the curriculum is under way and is likely to be introduced from 2018-19, officials said.
However, there is no clear policy about pre-schools, and most of them are privately run. Schools follow their own criteria and curriculum.
“There are five pre-schools centres of NCERT and they are already working on preparing not only the curriculum, but the material that should be used by the teachers. For instance, to prepare the student for Class I, many pre-schools end up promoting rote-learning, which is detrimental to the overall growth of the student,” said a senior NCERT official.
Schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, Kendriya and Navodya Vidyalayas follow the curriculum prepared by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).
Officials said the material would be prepared for two years as most students study for this period before taking admission in Class I. The curriculum will also explain how the students should be taught.
“The pre-school centres are conducting researches on how much should students be taught at such a young age. What impact it has on their overall development and growth and whether techniques should be vary for different students. The cognitive and emotional aspects also have to be taken into account,” added the official.
NCERT director Dr Hrushikesh Senapaty said they would come out with the material on teaching methods and techniques too.
“We are working on a model framework for the pre-school education in the country,” he said.
Pre-schools across the country do not fall under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which currently applies to children between six and 14 years studying from Class 1 to 8. However, a proposal was earlier mooted to bring pre-schools under the fold of the children’s Right to Education.
The Central Advisory Board of Education had last year considered the report of its sub-committee on extension of the RTE Act but a decision was deferred.
“Most of these schools are privately run and we will hold a meeting with them to ensure they at least use the curriculum as the model curriculum and they will be free to make changes to it to meet the demand,” said a senior NCERT official.