EDUCATION
ANGANWARI STIR OVER? TEACHERS REJECT PACT
Now, Pb Govt says no Anganwadi Centre will be closed, but teachers will teach kids in these Centres
- PT Bureau
Now, Pb Govt says no Anganwadi Centre will be closed, but teachers will teach kids in these Centres



Teachers reject proposal, say they will teach only in schools
 
Chandigarh, November 26: Minutes after the Punjab government announced on Sunday that Anganwari workers have called off their stir and "no Anganwadi Centre in the state would be closed” while introducing pre-primary classes in government primary schools while teachers would teach little kids in the Anganwari Centres wherever these are not integrated with the schools, a premier teachers’ body, Sikhiya Bachao Manch, said teachers will not do any such thing.
  
"Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s personal intervention and government’s assurance that no Anganwadi Centre would be shut down” resulted in Anganwari workers calling off the stir, an official statement claimed.
 
 
However, teachers did not waste any time in rejecting the pact that the government reached with Anganwari workers.
 
"No teacher will go to the Anganwari Centres to teach pre-primary classes. Teachers will only teach those kids who are enrolled in the school and if they are in the school,” Sikhiya Bachao Manch said in a press statement.

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"No teacher will go to the Anganwari Centres to teach children of pre-primary classes. Teachers will only teach those kids who are enrolled in the school and only if they are in the school,” Sikhiya Bachao Manch said minutes after Education Minister and Punjab Congress chief clinched issue in a meeting with Anganwari workers.
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The government’s assurance had followed a meeting of Education Minister Aruna Chaudhary with Anganwadi workers. Punjab Congress president and Gurdaspur MP Sunil Jakhar also met the Anganwari workers in Deena Nagar. Earlier, the Anganwadi workers met the minister alone and had expressed apprehensions that the Centres would be shut down and their services terminated once pre-primary classes are integrated with primary schools.

"Punjab School Sikhiya Bachao Manch does not oppose any Anganwari Centres but we oppose the approach of the officialdom. The government was well aware that Anganwari Centres do not necessarily function in tandem with the schools, or from the premises of schools. The contradiction should have been resolved earlier,” the teachers’ body said.

"If Education Providers, EGS or STRAI teachers are asked to go and teach pre-primary kids in Anganwari Centres, then they will point blank refuse to follow any such orders. As it is, the government is exploiting these teachers by hiring them on contract and is now trying to load them with new responsibilities. If the ministry expects them to teach pre-primary kids, they it better first regularise these teachers and give them full grade,” the organisation said.
 
 Also Read: THE LOOT THAT RAJASTHAN COMMITTED – An insult bigger than Bollywood’s Padmawati!

The statement was issued by leaders of the Manch, including Jaswinder Singh Sidhu, Harjinderpal Singh Pannu, Pargatjeet Singh, Jagseer Singh Gharu, Amarjeet Singh Kamboj Nishant Kumar, Baldev Singh Buttar, Makhan Singh Tolewal, Ishar Singh Manjhpur and Baj Singh Khaira.
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Govt said Anganwari centres will be shifted to schools. Wherever this is not possible, new accommodation for Anganwadi Centres will be built in the schools. The government did not say how much funds will be required and where will the money come from.
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A government spokesperson clarified that ideally, all Anganwadi Centres should operate from the primary schools and children enrolled in these Centres should also be enrolled for pre-primary classes. 
"In line with this, the Departments of School Education and Social Security should endeavour to gradually shift all Anganwadi Centres to primary schools to enable the Anganwadi workers to continue with child care and nutrition support activities and allow the teachers to impart education,” the official statement said.

After decades of running Anganwari Centres and the education department under different ministries, the government seemed to have woken up to a new reality. 
 

"Unfortunately, in the current framework, the Anganwadi workers and teachers were unable to focus on their core functions, thus affecting the quality and standards of both. The move to introduce pre-primary classes in Primary Schools was aimed at ensuring that these functions could be facilitated in the manner they should be,” said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson further said that in cases where it is difficult to shift the Anganwadi Centres to the concerned schools, efforts should be made to build accommodation for Anganwadi Centres in the schools gradually, and till such time it is achieved, the teachers should visit the Anganwadi Centres to impart pre-primary education. There was no clarification as to how much resources will be required to construct  thousands of new buildings and where will this money come from. As it is, the state is even finding it difficult to grant relief to families of farmers who have committed suicide.
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Punjab government is unable to give money for even mid-day meals and in hundreds of schools, children are going hungry. Notwithstanding this, government announced brave new idea of constructing accommodation in thousands of schools for Anganwari Centres.
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Thousands of school going children of farmers are failing to get even their Constitutionally-protected and guaranteed mid-day meal in school as money is not being released for months, but the government did not blink an eye while announcing a plan to virtually unleash a building-construction activity across the entire state for which not even a single rupee was allocated in the last budget.

"The government has decided that the pre-primary education, to begin with, should be restricted to one hour a day and it should be through play-way methods, the curriculum for pre-primary classes may be designed jointly by the Departments of Education and Social Security,” the spokesperson said. No details were provided about modalities and discussions among child psychologists, pedagogy experts and teachers who decided exactly for how many hours such children should be taught to ensure wholesome development.
 

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