The NCERT’s first-ever preschool curriculum directs the children in their early years of learning should be taught in their mother tongue or home language. It also recommends learning through play and not be subjected to any kind of tests-written or oral.
The NCERT acknowledged the challenge of language diversity in India and said “In case there is more than one language as mother tongue, teachers may allow as many languages as are in the classroom to be used for expression with gradually exposing the child to school language…Children need a bilingual or multilingual environment for a smooth transition,” says NCERT, adding that all children should also be exposed to sign language.
A pre-school as per NCERT guidelines is defined as all schools which teach children between the ages of three and six. The curriculum recommends using informal and systematic observations of the children’s play and other activities to asses their academic progress and added that the purpose of evaluation should not weigh the kids on a ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’ scale. Instead, assessment should provide direction for learning new skills and focus on the child’s strengths rather than deficits, it added.