Odisha To Introduce Play Classes In State-run Primary Schools
Playschools in Odisha could soon be accessible for all as the State government has planned to start play classes in government primary schools. The authorities believe this would help children develop a strong acumen to deal with foundational literacy and numeracy.
The plan has been charted by a group of senior secretaries, School and Mass Education, Women and Child Development, and SC, ST Development departments. Initially, around 5000 schools with collocated Anganwadi centres in the urban or semi-urban areas will be identified to operate as playschools.
A comprehensive guideline and responsibility matrix will be prepared before going ahead with the implementation of the concept.
Children, mainly around age 5, under the wing of this program will attend the centres for supplementary nutrition programme from 9 am to 10 am, then participate in academic activities under the guidance of the school from 10 am to 12.30 pm.
At least two teachers, preferably female, in each school will be trained on handling small children, and ensuring the proper transition from play class to Grade I.
Teacher Education and State Council of Educational Research and Training (TE and SCERT) in collaboration with the W and CD department will prepare materials, training packages, and impart training through the District Institute of Educational and Training (DIET).
Chief Secretary, Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, suggested that the Anganwadi workers will remain present in the class for some portion of the day, initially, along with the school teachers and provide handholding support to the children and teacher. “Gradually, once the children are acquainted with the school teacher, the AWW will be withdrawn. It was decided that the matter will be considered during the preparation of the guidelines”, said Mohapatra.
Classes for tribal children in tribal-dominated areas will be instructed in their mother tongue.