Special curriculum for toddlers as preschools reopen in Karnataka

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government-run preschools, Lower Kindergarten (LKG) and Upper Kindergarten (UKG) have reopened on Monday across the state after a gap of 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a special curriculum prepared to acclimatise the toddlers to in-person learning, officials said.

The new curriculum will focus on activities and interactions which will help them adapt to social situations after remaining confined to their homes during the lockdown period.

While the government preschools, including Anganwadis, reopened on Monday, the private managements have begun the process of getting the parental consent for the same.

They will commence classes as and when clearance is given by the respective franchisees.

The state education department is upbeat about Monday’s development as it will result in the complete reopening of schools in the state after remaining closed since March 2020 following the onset of the pandemic, the officials said.

Meanwhile, more and more parents are reaching out to school management seeking resumption of classes as they have to also get back to work.

KVS Sheshasai, CEO of the Pre-K division of Euro Kids International and Kangaroo kids, said: “We have been ready with our resumption and safety protocols since the past two-three weeks. The protocols include government guidelines and directives given by the Unicef and WHO. We have been extensively training our partners on how to resume preschools safely. Once the government’s nod and parental consent are obtained classes shall resume next week.”

Over the last 18 months, children are predominantly spending time with their parents without much social interaction. They will need time to acclimatise to being in a social situation.

“When they return, the first priority is not to get them into the learning process. The first priority is to settle them down,” he said.

According to WHO guidelines, masks are not mandatory for children below the ages of five.

“We will ensure that the staff is fully vaccinated, classrooms are extremely hygienic and disinfected properly, proper ventilation is provided. Initially, the classes will begin with less numbers for two to three days and gradually it will be increased,” he said.

Pushpa Hawargi, who runs EuroKids at Rukmini Nagar and Jalahalli Cross in Bengaluru, said that the focus would be on bringing the children back to routine gradually which might take one to 15 days.

“The ages from two to six are crucial for children as their receptibility at this age is like a sponge. The importance will be given to holistic development of a kid. We are ready with all precautions, she said adding that the children will be safer in schools than in malls and restaurants,” she said.