UNICEF Slams Rote Learning, Teaching Methods in Preschools

Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India), July 29, 2017 | Go to article overview

UNICEF Slams Rote Learning, Teaching Methods in Preschools


India, July 29 -- Given a choice between private preschools and anganwadi centres and government schools, there is a growing preference for private preschools and schools even in Indian villages, found a Unicef study.

Also, reading, writing and arithmetic defined as 3Rs in the study don't have much benefit in preschool education, as is commonly believed.

"The overall picture emerging from the observation of classrooms is not very promising, as the curriculum followed by the government and the private schools focuses on the formal teaching of the 3R's (reading, writing and arithmetic), with limited emphasis on developmentally appropriate classroom practices. Formal learning and teaching of the 3Rs in preschool was found to have a negative relationship with developmentally appropriate activities," the study points out.

While the study endorses the positive impact of good quality preschool education, however, it also says training module should keep in mind socio-cultural and language background and also needs of special children.

It also highlights how due to shortage of teachers, multi grade situations are very common in government schools, making it difficult for the teacher to address the specific needs of the children. "Most schools followed the teaching of the 3R's through rote and repetition, the other prevalent method being to get children to copy from the blackboard".

Also, there was no interaction between the children and teachers in government schools, which defeats the purpose of teaching.

The study covered about 14,000 during the first round of fieldwork from three states: Assam, Rajasthan and Telangana. This longitudinal study, followed a cohort of children over time - in this case over a period of 4 years, from age 4 to age 8, during which it collected information from learning assessments. …

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