Teachers want govt to open pre-primary schools

12:17 PM, Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

primary-schoolBengaluru : At a time when several government schools are being shut and those still functioning are seeing high drop-out rates, primary school teachers have seen a need for restructuring the free and compulsory education system.

Teachers have urged the government to include pre-primary education as part of government schooling on one hand and extend compulsory education till class 12, on the other. The teachers have demanded that the modified structure be implemented from the coming academic year.

This decision was taken at the national meet of primary schoolteachers which saw the participation of nearly one lakh teachers. Karnataka State Primary Teachers’ Association, which spearheaded the meet, has, on behalf of the teachers, submitted a memorandum to the State government. The association will soon be sending a representation to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in this regard.

Basavaraj Gurikar, president of the association said they wanted the government to include pre-primary education as part of government schools to ensure better enrolment to these schools.

“The free and compulsory education of the government begins when children turn five years and ten months. These days no parent wants to wait till their child turns five years to enrol them into school.

The government schools are losing out because of this. Children usually join school education at the age of three. As a result, almost every one opts for private schools. Once they join a school, it is unlikely that they would change it again for aj Gurprimary classes.”

Not just that, the teachers have also sought that compulsory education be extended till the age of 18. This would mean that the students would continue as part of free and compulsory education until they complete class 12. The teachers hoped that this would reduce the dropout rates.

Further, noticing the burden on students for travelling long distance to schools, they have demanded that when the New Education Policy (NEP) rolls out in January 2016, it should be based on the concept of neighbourhood schools.

“Look at the kind of pressure now on students. They travel long distance to get to school. This is very tiring for children. They should include neighbourhood schooling as part of the new policy, stressing the need for children to be educated in their neighbourhood schools.”

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