Govt. decision to start Early Childhood Care and Education in primary schools opposed

Members of Karnataka Rajya Anganwadi Naukarara Sangha staging a protest outside the KKRDB office building in Kalaburagi on Monday.
| Photo Credit: ARUN KULKARNI

Demanding that the State government withdraw the circular issued to start Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) in government lower primary schools, anganwadi workers from seven districts of Kalyana Karnataka region under the banner of Karnataka Rajya Anganwadi Naukarara Sangha staged a protest in Kalaburagi on Monday.

The workers took out a protest march and staged a sit-in protest outside the Kalyana Karnataka region Development Board (KKRDB) office building. Sangha State president S. Varalakshmi, working president Shanta Ghanti and activist K. Neela opposed the government’s decision to introduce kindergarten (LKG and UKG) as enrollment of children starting in Class 1 has been decreasing in government schools.

By issuing notification to start ECCE in schools in Kalyana Karnataka region, the government is planning to end the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme which has been functioning for the last 49 years helping in holistic development of a child, they said.

Ms. Varalakshmi said that the government is trying to make anganwadi teachers and helpers unemployed by introducing pre-primary classes in government schools. By doing this, anganwadi centres will be scrapped, she added.

Additional Commissioner of the Department of School Education and Literacy Akash Shankar, who received a memorandum from the agitators, said that he will bring their request to the government’s notice.

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