Balvatika to bridge learning gaps in children during pre-schooling years
Post by Javid Sofi on Wednesday, December 28, 2022
It was in July of 2021 that Prime MinisterNarendra Modi launched Vidya Pravesh Programme to mark one year of the completion of National Education Policy ( NEP ) 2020.
Vidya Pravesh is a play based school preparation module for preschoolers below 5 years of age under NIPUN ( National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy) Bharat Programme.
This module which will prepare students for class 1st has been prepared by NCERT( National Council of Educational, Research and Training) New Delhi.
Sheikh Gulzar, Nodal Officer, NIPUN Bharat Programme and Academic Officer, SCERT( State Council of Educational ,Research and Training) Srinagar told Rising Kashmir that Vidya Pradesh module is at-least of three month duration.“ The school teacher can extend it up to six months depending on the situation,” he said.
He informed that this programme has been designed to address learning gaps in children during first three years of pre-schooling.
“A-grade or preparatory class has been created where this six month module will be administered and this grade has been named as Balvatika,” he said, adding that Balvatika will address learning gaps of children so that they get connected with class 1st.
The module has fun based, play based and joy based activities which will create an entertaining environment for indirect learning of letters, numbers and sounds.
“ This will convert play into schooling where our pupil will not have pen and paper in their hand, they will do activities connecting with their cognitive development,” he said.
Gulzar informed that SCERT has a special focus on starting Balvatika in Kashmir schools for which basic preparations are being carried out.
“A 225 page module of Vidya Pradesh has been translated into Urdu,” he said, adding that the translation has been made to make the module accessible in local language as per the recommendations of NEP 2020.
He said that the translated module will soon be disseminated by SCERT Srinagar.
Gulzar further said that four resource persons from each district have been trained for Vidya Pravesh.
“ By March of next year they will train around 6000 teachers dealing with elementary education” he said, adding that he hopes to see some Balvatika in Kashmir schools by 2023.
Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah, a Government Teacher and Zonal Resource Person for NEP 2020, said that NIPUN Bharat has been launched to cover learning needs of children from 3 to 9 years of age.
“Balvatika is a part of this programme with focus on maintaininggood health andwellbeing of children, make them a good communicator, and also ensuring that they become involved learners and are able to connect with their immediate environment,” he said, adding that play way preschool activities will develop cognitive, affective and psychomotor abilities of children.
“Balvatika is not formal learning, it is preparing a child for learning in a stress free joyful environment,” he said.