Pre-schools run by government still on paper

Bengaluru: The state government’s idea of setting up pre-schools across the state on par with private pre-schools will not be implemented this academic year too.

Though there was a request from parents to set up government pre-schools, Education Department officials said, “We can’t set up pre-schools as there is no provision for pre-school education in the Karnataka Education Act.”

Tanveer Sait, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, said, “Karnataka Education Act does not permit us to offer pre- school education. We can only provide education from Class 1. If we have to start pre-school education then we have to bring amendments to the main Act which we will be discussing at the government level.”

Meanwhile, parents who demanded for such pre-schools have mentioned in their requests that it should be English medium. “Setting up English medium schools in primary education or pre-school level is against the Karnataka state language policy. A majority of parents requested for pre-schools to be set up in English medium,” said Sait.

According to officials, there was a proposal before the education department to set up pre-schools in select cities using the existing infrastructure of state government primary schools. “At present, we have merged anganwadis with government schools. As there was a demand from parents, we thought of opening pre-schools in select places. But there is a legal hurdle and we need to clear that first,” said Sait.

Officials said discussions have been going on to amend the Act to introduce pre-school education run by the state government. “We can’t start pre-school education in English medium, but we can start it in Kannada medium by making amendments to the education act,” said official.

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