In Punjab, the state education department has introduced the concept of assigning homework to pre-school children, reported state leading newspaper The Tribune.
According daily, the State coordinator of the ‘Padho Punjab Padhao Punjab' project Davinder Boha said: “We have introduced the concept of homework due to parental pressure. Children not getting homework is one of the most common complaints of the parents.”
Meanwhile, state coordinator of Pratham, an NGO, Vajinder Thakur said: “The classwork and homework given to the children will not be counted in their final evaluation. The exercise of simple worksheets will not require any cramming. We have designed special play material, which mainly includes activities related to numbers, colours and identifying blood relations.”
The NGO is working in collaboration with the state government on the education of pre-school children.
The report said that at present, the number of government schools offering pre-school education has touched 12,800.
“While there has been a rise in the number of admission queries, the parents are still sceptical about admitting their children in government schools. They have apprehensions about the quality of education being imparted there,” said Headmistress of a primary school in Gurdaspur district said, reported the daily.
The report said that a recent review by the department showed that teachers are not making adequate use of the study material provided to them. This was basically due to the lack of understanding of the teaching concepts.
A pre-school teacher, requesting anonymity, said “I am visiting the Education Department's office for the second time. We are expected to train the teachers in the district when we go back. The problem is at times, if a teacher fails to understand the concept, they go back and teach the students in a wrong manner.”
Also, the Education Department is facing a shortage of resource persons for training pre-school teachers. So, it has decided to start small training groups at the district level to take care of immediate problems. Teacher participation, which has been below par because of the long-drawn agitation, too will be another crucial area that the department has to work upon.