To strengthen early childhood education in the city, the Delhi government plans to shift focus from expanding pre-primary education in government and MCD schools, and towards developing and expanding anganwadi hub-centres.
Three agencies provide early childhood education in the city — pre-primary classes in government schools cater to 28,000 children; MCD schools have around 51,000 pre-primary students; and anganwadis, where around 1.7 lakh children between the ages of three and six are enrolled.
The government, in a statement, said, “This causes duplication and dilution in quality, as none of the agencies focus on early childhood care and education as top priorities. Instead of expanding nurseries in government or MCD schools, the government’s priority is to strengthen anganwadis.” To do this, the government plans to expand the number of anganwadi hub-centres in the city to about 1,000. There are over 10,000 anganwadi centres in the city.
Last year, around 100 anganwadi hub-centres were formed by clubbing together three or four of them. The aim was for the centres to rent a larger place together and pool their resources to create “mohalla playschools”.
The government also plans to map these hub centres to the nearest MCD and government schools so that students can be admitted directly to the schools — similar to the system for the transfer of children from MCD to government schools after primary classes.