Delhi Government to Strengthen Early Childhood Education in the State
Mr. Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister convened a combined meeting of the senior officials of Directorate of Education, Department of Woman and Child Development and North, East and South Municipal Corporation to discuss the strategy of strengthening Early Childhood Education in Delhi.
Stressing on the importance of this issue, Mr. Sisodia said, “Early Childhood Care and Education provides the foundation of learning to a child. Therefore, having a good quality Early Childhood Care Centers (ECCE Centres) in every neighbourhood is a must”.
At present, the Directorate of Education enrols about 28,000 children while the three MCDs enrol about 51,000 children in their respective pre-primary classes, at the same time nearly 1.7 lacs children in the age group of 3-6 are enrolled at Anganwadis also. This leads to duplication and also dilution in the quality as none of these agencies focuses on Early Childhood Care and Education as one of its top priority.
Therefore, a coordinated strategy is required to provide ECCE in an environment of CARE to children up to 4 years in age. Hence, instead of expanding Nurseries in the Government or Municipal schools, the priority of the government would be to strengthen Anganwadis.
Last year Delhi Government launched about 100 Anganwadi hubs by clubbing 3-4 Anganwadis in close proximity and set up a model ECCE center. Encouraged by the success of this model, the Delhi Government now plans to expand the number of Hubs to about 1000 across the city so that children below 4 years can get one year of Early Childhood Education in these Hubs, closer to their house. Further, children in the hubs would be mapped to the nearest Municipal or Directorate of Education’s schools so that they get admission directly in the school saving the parents from the hassles of applying for admission to different schools.
To coordinate among the agencies, the Minister designated the Nodal officers for Directorate of Education and Department of Woman and Child Development to follow up with the MCDs and prepare an action plan for implementation.