Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
3) Discuss the significance of early childhood care and education. To what extent has the draft National Education Policy 2019 addressed the concerns of early childhood care and education? (250 words)
Why this question:
The question is about early childhood care and education in India. The draft National Education Policy 2019 wants early childhood education to be overseen and regulated by the HRD Ministry as part of the school system, rather than the private preschools and anganwadis. Thus it is important from exam point of view to analyse the ECCE conditions in India.
Key demand of the question:
The question expects us to evaluate the current conditions of ECCE scenario in India, what needs to be done with a special focus on the draft national education policy.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
Begin with brief introduction on what you understand by ECCE.
One can start by appreciating the key highlights of the draft education policy with focus on aspects of ECCE –
- Right to Education Act to cover the three years of preschool before Class 1. Thus, all Indian children could soon enter the formal education system at the age of three.
- Early childhood education should be overseen and regulated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) as part of the school system, rather than the private pre-schools and anganwadis that currently cater to the 3-to-6 years age group.
- It suggests a new integrated curricular framework for 3 to 8-year olds with a flexible system based on play, activity and discovery, and beginning exposure to three languages from age 3 onwards.
- A joint task force from Health, HRD and Women and Child Development (WCD) ministry will draft “a detailed plan outlining the operational and financial implications of the integration of early childhood education with the school education system”.
Suggest the importance of having a robust policy for ECCE.
Conclude with way forward.