No move to close Anganwadi kendras: Govt

Published: November 23,2020 08:16 AM

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November 23, 2020: Allaying fears among Anganwadi workers of losing their jobs due to the New Education Policy, the social social welfare dept had clarified that there is no such move by the govt.

November 23, 2020: Allaying fears among Anganwadi workers of losing their jobs due to the New Education Policy(NEP), the social welfare department had clarified that there is no such move by the government.

"Attention of the Government has been drawn to a series of news items in a section of the media regarding the closure of the Anganwadi Kendras in the State in view of the implementation of the new National Education Policy, 2020. This is wholly untrue", said the department in a statement.

It asserted that since 1975, the Anganwadi Kendras have played a key role in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE). As per the recommendations of the new National Education Policy, 2020 "the network of Anganwadi Kendras across the country would be strengthened and improved. Some of the key recommendations are contained in Part I, Chapter 1, 4 and 7 of the new Policy."

The department informed that among the salient features of the New National Education Policy of 2020 related to Anganwadis are:

1. ECCE shall be delivered through a significantly expanded and strengthened system of early-childhood education institutions consisting of (a) stand-alone Anganwadis; (b) Anganwadis co-located with primary schools; (c) pre-primary schools covering at least age 5 to 6 years co-located with existing primary schools; and (d) stand-alone pre-schools - all of which would recruit workers/ teachers specially trained in the curriculum and pedagogy of ECCE.

2. Anganwadi Centres will be strengthened with high-quality infrastructure, play equipment, and well-trained Anganwadi workers/ teachers. Every Anganwadi will have a well-ventilated, well-designed, child-friendly and well-constructed building with an enriched learning environment.

3. To prepare an initial cadre of high-quality ECCE teachers, Anganwadi workers with qualifications of 10+2 and above shall be given a 6-month certificate programme in ECCE; and those with lower educational qualifications shall be given a one-year diploma programme covering early literacy, numeracy, and other relevant aspects of ECCE. These programmes may be run through digital/distance mode using DTH channels as well as smartphones, allowing teachers to acquire ECCE qualifications with minimal disruption to their current work.

4. The planning and implementation of early childhood care and education curriculum will be carried out jointly by the Ministries of HRD, Women and Child Development (WCD), Health and Family Welfare (HFW), and Tribal Affairs.

5. The curricular and pedagogical structure and the curricular framework for school education will therefore be guided by a 5+3+3+4 design, consisting of the Foundational Stage (in two parts, that is, 3 years of Anganwadi/ pre-school + 2 years in primary school in Grades 1-2; both together covering ages 3-8), Preparatory Stage (Grades 3-5, covering ages 8-11), etc.

6. One possible mechanism for accomplishing the above would be the establishment of a grouping structure called the school complex, consisting of one secondary school together with all other schools offering lower grades in its neighbourhood including Anganwadis, in a radius of five to ten kilometres.

The department further "clarified that there is no proposal either for Anganwadi Centres being closed down or Anganwadi Workers and Helpers losing their jobs. Steps will be taken for further strengthening the existing system with improved infrastructure and better interface."