There is a tectonic shift taking place in the preschool education ecosystem following the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP 2020). Post implementation, many “edupreneurs”, complacent within their comfort zones till the other day have woken up with a jolt, while others are seeing a huge emerging potential, and lured by the perceived promise of quick success, are scampering in to fill the void. The result is predictable – mushrooming of preschools.
However, even a cursory look will tell, that things are not as hunky-dory as they seem at the first glance. While the challenges of establishing a preschool may be ones that can easily be surmounted, that too with relative ease, running one in keeping with the mandates of the NEP is a completely different ball game altogether.
Content is the key
The first challenge is the content. Gone are the days of painting a few walls with cartoon characters, dotting the space with a couple of play-rides, hiring a couple of Montessori trained (for all that it is worth) ladies to supervise, and then listening to the sweet sound of the cash registers jingling. Post NEP it is much, much more than that and the holistic development of the child, in tune with the best, scientifically proven practices gleaned from around the world has now come, and justifiably so, to the center stage. It is no longer about herding children while their parents are otherwise busy – pre-schools now are an important step – albeit the first important step – in the entire system of education.
Naturally, creating the course content for pre-schools has become one of the most important challenges facing the academic world as the first brush with an education that we provide to our future citizens is being accorded the seriousness it deserves.
Training the trainers
The second key challenge that is being faced is that relating to the capability – both psychological and academic – of the teachers who are the interface between the children and the developmental goals towards which they are gently goaded. Training the trainers – who will oversee an environment where the children are increasingly exposed to a digitized world, where their mental and physical well-being is accorded as much importance as their ability to learn and replicate, and where the progress of the children is monitored in real-time is a huge leap forward, especially for existing preschools that are located far from the city centers.
The Nalanda way
And this is exactly where Nalanda Learning is making a difference. Backed by decades of experience in the pre-schooling space and led by visionary educators who have spent their careers creating a scalable system that, in hindsight, looks like one that was prepared keeping in mind the NEP 2020 edicts, the Nalanda way, is being hailed by most educators who are working in the field. The fact that teacher training is an important part of the whole Nalanda experience also goes on to refurbish the credibility and usefulness of the program. The balance between a digitally-led curriculum where the children learn as they play and a pedagogic structure that stresses interpersonal interaction is another key factor of the painstakingly created open-ended system that is constantly evolving to address emerging concerns.
Little wonder, the Nalanda Learning system is fast becoming the chosen one, across the country.