Early education in India has never been smooth. Almost over a decade ago, in 2014, the admissions in preschool reduced approximately to 50% compared to 2006. Back in 2006, around 13.46 million students enrolled for primary education, but in 2014 there were only 6.1 million admissions in Preschool in India.
As per the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) reports, over 50 million children in 2018 did not receive age-appropriate learning. The formal school readiness of children at five years of age is much lower than the expectations.
The biggest concern is Why the Scenario of Pre-schooling in India Adversely Impacted?
Reasons that affect Preschool Education in India
There is no standard preschool curriculum in India
There is no particular qualification requirement for preschool teachers, principals, and other academic coordinators
Outdated teacher training programs that do not fit the present-day requirements.
Lack of understanding in parents regarding whether or not preschool education is essential for children
Confusion in parents about the appropriate preschool curriculum.
Most importantly, the quality of learning
However, since 2018 UNICEF has been working with the Indian government to enable improved early education scenarios in India. The program is focused on filling the gaps in education. The three primary motives of UNICEF and the Indian Government is to enhance the Preschool Education System by:
Focussing on Out-of-School Children
Improving and Synchronising the Quality of Education & Learning
Improved Learning Environment in All States
As the educational scenario started improving, the pandemic had an adverse effect on education, especially on the early-year education system. The dilemma for parents was whether to limit their children’s screen time or to enrol in Online Classes for the continuity of learning.
With the rise of the pandemic, the parents thought of waiting for normalcy, but later, as the months and years passed by, Online Education became the new norm. Still, fully 100% of parents are not able to adapt to Online Preschool in India for multiple reasons. The blog contains all the probable reasons.
Top 5 Cases: Why is Early Year Education not 100% in India?
With the awareness about the importance of education in India, most of the parents are still not serious about Early-Year Education. Parents often ignore it, considering that they can prepare children at home to qualify for secondary education or formal schooling. The scenario can be improved only if there is a unanimous, synchronised, and standard curriculum for the pre-primary school in India.
Here are a few cases describing case studies of parents impacting Playschool education in India.
1. Enough Monetary Resources, But Lack of Time
The people with higher monetary resources and lack of time rarely opt for online classes, and during the pandemic, most of the parents aren’t ready to send their kids to online classes. The Indian population in this category often hires a full-time offline teacher who gives one-on-one attention to their child with a fancy home school learning and resource kit. Well, this can be useful to improve the academic performance, confidence, and communication of a child. Still, a child’s social-emotional development, life skills, and holistic growth are not possible without the school environment.
2. Enough Time but Lack of Funds
Pandemic has affected every family’s income in multiple ways. Some have faced salary cut-offs, some have limited, or no income in their businesses, and others have lost their jobs. In such a case, the parents choose to save money by teaching their children themselves rather than enrolling them in Online Preschool. Here, if the parents make a routine and maintain a continuity of teaching & learning at home, a child can gain all the necessary skills.
However, it might impact the social skills of a child. The child may perform well at home, but they might be low in confidence in groups or in front of teachers. Especially when a child is confined to a nuclear family with no siblings, they lack confidence or might get reserved in nature.
3. Moderate Income and Time Availability
Most of the Indian population falls under this category. These parents can afford Preschool Education and give necessary support to children. Around 90% of parents in this category are conscious of early year education. They have either enrolled their children in online/offline classes or in a hybrid model of pre-schooling.
Their choice entirely depends on the pandemic situation in the area around them. As per a survey report of mid-2020, 41% of parents say that children lack personal attention in Online Classes. Either the teacher-child ratio in online classes shall be limited, or the teaching methodology shall be more interactive for child’s engagement.
4. Moderate Income but No Time
Some parents have an average income, but they do not have the time to spend with their children. So, they mostly prefer to send their children to preschool and daycare centres. However, today, after the pandemic, the scenario is different. If the parents are working from home, it is difficult for them to manage the Online Preschool Classes, work, and home altogether. In the burden of juggling between the things, the learning of the young ones is usually lagged behind.
5. Low Finances and Low-Time
Some parents have a low-income source that can hardly accomplish their daily needs. In such a case, they cannot afford the hefty preschool fees for their children. The children in such a scenario either choose not to go to school or join government orientated schools. However, mostly the government schools in India are for children above five years of age.
What Is the Most Appropriate Solution to Improve Preschool Education in India?
Looking at the scenario, we never know when the pandemic will subside. There are possibilities that we have to live with Covid-19 and treat it as a new norm. In that case, we cannot allow education to suffer. Either you have to find a trusted preschool around you where the school ensures 100% safety and hygiene or accept Online Preschool as the best way of uninterrupted learning.
Education is an essential aspect for a secure future and appropriate child development. Moreover, early year education shall never be ignored because 90% of the brain develops in the first five years of life. Today, when a few of us are still ignoring pre-primary education, the preschools have adapted to the curriculum focused on the holistic development of a child.
If you do not enrol your child in a preschool, there are possibilities that your child might not have all the skills necessary for primary education. Today, early-year education is at a boom globally. You must not enrol your child because your colleagues, friends, or peers are enrolling their children, but for the progressive development of your child.
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