Owing to mounting pressure from parents and peoples' representatives, the state government is formulating a new law to control pre-primary education. “We will concentrate on a few aspects like fee control, qualification criteria for teachers and minimum infrastructure to be provided by school management,“ education minister Vinod Tawde told TOI.
He added that the government is also studying the legalities to avoid any hurdles when it is implemented.
Pre-primary section comprises playgroup, nursery and kindergarten. In 2011, the state had over 56,000 pre-schools with 24 lakh students. There is no current record as there is no state or local body control over pre-primary education and its fee structure.
The need to control pre-primary section in schools was discussed in the legislative assembly in March 2016. The decision came after several parents complained about overcharging fees and inadequate infrastructure by pre-schools run by private trusts.
But an official from the education department pointed out that once the state exercises control over private pre-primary schools, it may also have to pay aid to them. “Even if aided schools, which have pre-primary section, are to be considered, it will lead to a Rs 1,200 crore additional burden on the government,“ said the official.
Those running pre-schools have not welcomed the move.Lina Ashar, founder of Kangaroo Kids, said, “Every pre-school has a different philosophy .How will a curriculum suit every pre-school? What is the harm in giving parents a chance? The government is bringing in blanket rules for everyone only because some pre-schools are not doing the right thing.“