The Ministry of Education (MoE) wants to ensure that 60 lakh children between the ages of three to six years attend play school or Balvatika, and can be accommodated in 14 lakh Anganwadis across the country, Sanjay Kumar, Secretary (School Education), said. Mr. Kumar was speaking at the Early Childhood Care and Education conference, Udaan 2024, in Delhi on Monday. “So the first thing we ask ourselves — do we have [adequate school infrastructure]?” Mr. Kumar said. He urged all government and non-government stakeholders to work with the MoE to create mapping towards this. “But then we need to take this matter with the States and nudge them to do it as quickly as possible,” he added.  Mr. Kumar said that some schools in Karnataka had started two years of Balvatika in a limited number of schools that had Anganwadis, but they had not started the third year.  “There are schools where three years of Balvatika are being run, there are schools which are running two years of Balvatika, and there are schools which are running one year of Balvatika,” Mr. Kumar said. 

Source-Vengadesh R