From The Statesman
India is home to the highest number of children in the world. Over 80 million children below six have no access to early childhood development. Worldwide research confirms that access to high-quality early childhood development is the foundation for lifelong learning, eradicating poverty, ending hunger and improving nutrition and achieving gender equality. In India too, the recent ‘The India Early Childhood Education Impact Study’ confirms that quality preschool education is critical for improving the school readiness.
The study showed that participation in the age group betwen four to five years has a significant impact on children’s school readiness levels at age 5+. From ‘multi-tasked Anganwadis’ to ‘demand driven’ private preschools, the quality of education is not developmentally appropriate for children. Despite, increasing enrollment in preschools, (63 per cent of preschool aged children attend some kind of programme, be it a government-run Anganwadi centres or private preschool) school readiness remains disappointingly low.
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