In a bid to provide wholesome and quality education to the students in government schools, the school education department has decided to activate the kindergarten section.
According to a circular issued by the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) all the Chief Education Officers (CEOs) have been directed to introduce the Kindergarten (KG) section in the government schools having primary section as per the Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) programme.
The decision to introduce the KG section in the schools has been taken after the department received negative feedback about the functioning of the KG classes.
"The feedback reflects that these classes are not being run in all government schools having primary sections. Also wherever they are in operation, the purpose is not being served as per the standards laid down ECCE programme," the circular reads.
The ECCE Scheme provides a free year of early childhood care and education for children of pre-school age. In general, children are eligible for the ECCE scheme if they are aged over 3 years 2 months and less than 4 years 7 months on 1 September of the year that they will be starting.
However, in government schools the concerned teachers from past have not maintained proper admission records and daily attendance of the Primary section.
"In most schools no proper admission and daily attendance records are being maintained for such children," the circular reads.
The department has decided to involve female teacher on priority and follow an integrated 'Theme Based Approach' for the effective results.
"For the meaningful transaction in KG class on the lines of ECCE programme, the active, skillful and trained teacher especially a female should be involved on priority in these schools," the circular reads.
The department has asked the CEOs to ensure the 'immediate' purposeful operationalisation and functioning of the KG classes in all the schools having primary section.
"Theme Based Teacher's manual prepared in collaboration with UNICEF for KG classes will be made available soon for the guidance of teachers to handle KG classes meaningfully," the circular reads.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, minister for education Naeem Akhtar said the initiative is a part of the education policy to provide wholesome and quality education in schools.
"This is a gap in government schools system and we are trying to fill it," he said.
He said the motive behind the rationalization process would be served in this initiative as well. "We resorted to rationalization so that we have human resource available and be deployed for more purposeful things," he said, adding that people were getting uncomfortable with such developments and try to exploit the affection of ReT teachers.