The Covid-19 pandemic not only hampered the education of students. It also hurt India’s teachers as sudden school closures left many without salaries. Especially vulnerable were pre-primary teachers – or early childhood educators, as they are known in education circles – who even before the pandemic lacked job security.
On Teacher’s Day on September 5, it is important to pay attention to this group who have the responsibility of teaching young Indians aged three to six years and preparing them to move on to the school system.
Neither the Centre nor any of the states provide for a comprehensive legal framework for the sector or those who work it in, jeopardising teacher’s rights, security and stability of service.
A vital stage in a child’s life
Preschool attendance, as experts note, is a vital stage in a child’s life. It “is positively associated with both cognitive and non-cognitive skills development in developing and developed countries,” notes a paper in the International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy. “Further, children who attend early childhood programmes are less likely to drop out of school than other children.”
Yes, despite the critical role the teachers play in nurturing young Indian citizens, there is a paucity of qualified pre-primary school teachers in India, Unesco’s State…