The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has issued guidelines for ‘Vidya Pravesh’, a three-month play-based school preparation module for Grade-I children.
Vidya Pravesh is one of the essential components of NIPUN BHARAT—National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN Mission)- an initiative of the Government of India.
The guidelines are intended to address the developmental and learning needs of children who enter Grade-I and, may or may not be having any prior pre-school experience. It facilitates teachers to make children’s entry in school education smooth, fearless and joyful.
The school preparation programme is suggested to be designed and implemented for the initial three months of Grade-I which can be transacted for four hours per day.
It follows a play-based pedagogy and promotes experiential learning with emphasis on the use of developmentally appropriate activities and local play materials.
Focus will be given on learning in mother tongue or home language and allowing as many languages as the children bring to the classroom, including sign language.
The vision document suggests three months or 12 weeks preparation as an interim measure until the universal provisioning of quality early childhood development, care and education is achieved with a target to ensure that all children entering Grade-I are school ready at least by 2030, as per the National Education Policy (NEP 2020).
As Vidya Pravesh is an integral part of NIPUN BHARAT, it aims at enabling all children to read and respond with comprehension, independently write with understanding, understand the reasoning in the domains of number, measurement, shapes and become independent in problem-solving.
The purpose is to ensure that every child in the country necessarily attains foundational literacy and numeracy by the end of Grade-III, and not later than Grade-V, by 2025.
It is estimated that approximately over 5 crore children in the elementary school system have not been able to attain foundational literacy and numeracy, i.e., the ability to read and comprehend basic text and carry out basic addition and subtraction.
As directed in the NEP-2020, it is recommended to introduce children with play and activity based learning experiences in the initial three months or 12 weeks of Grade-I, before introducing the activities in the curriculum prescribed for Grade-I.