Pune, 27th December 2023: Maharashtra State Education Commissioner Suraj Mandhare announced on Tuesday the impending enforcement of a law mandating pre-primary schools in Pune to adhere to specified guidelines.
Mandhare made this statement during the inauguration of the 50th National Children Science Exhibition, organized by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi, and the State Council of Educational Research and Training at Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Krida Sankul, Balewadi. The event, inaugurated by Ramesh Bais, the Governor of Maharashtra, addressed the need for government oversight in a state with a significant number of private nurseries and kindergartens lacking regulatory control.
Currently, pre-primary schools operate without an approval process for establishment, leading to a lack of government monitoring. The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has brought pre-primary education under the education framework, prompting the school education department to draft regulations for the approval of private kindergartens, nurseries, anganwadi centers, and establish minimum facilities and curriculum standards for pre-primary to Class II. The proposed regulations aim to bring equality to early education.
Suraj Mandhare, the state education commissioner, explained that a draft bill, considering key aspects discussed in committee meetings, has been prepared. The committee, comprising more than 50 experts, studied pre-primary school legislation from eight other states. The impending law will establish regulations and curriculum standards for pre-primary schools.
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, focused on comprehensive education reform, is likely to present a bill controlling private kindergartens in the upcoming budget session. However, there is apprehension from education activists, experts, teachers, and parents regarding this move.
Mandhare assured that efforts have been made to minimize disruptions to educational institutions. Emphasizing the importance of the early years in a child’s education, he stated, “Students will be given maximum attention to what is taught in these schools, as three to six years are very important for children’s education. Although most of the pre-primary schools are good, some are not up to the mark. With the introduction of the law, everything will be streamlined and adhere to the rules.”