The recent court decision to compress pre-primary classes - aka nursery and KG - into one year seems bewildering. True that they have raised the nursery age to 4 but knowing the pressure a child has to deal with once in class I, one year of preparation seems very insufficient.
At pwhy we have been running a pre-school unit for over 7 years with children between the age of 1 to 5. Initially the whole class was held in a big room with out desks and chairs and children were taught through play and creative means. However we soon realised that the transition to a government school class I was difficult as the tiny tots found themselves in an alien world when faced with desks, chairs and blackboards. That is why we began our prep class where children are taught pre-primary skills in an informal and easy way.
Informal play schools or groups do not prepare children for what awaits them in schools and one year is too little to prepare for this whole new experience. The module of nursery and KG seemed a good way to slowly break in the child, without having her or him lose its creativity.
The Indian school system is one that puts undue pressure on young minds and the mark based system that ensues promotes unhealthy competition. It is heartwarming to see that pre school education is now being debated in courts, but one hopes that the interest of tender minds remains the centre point of all debate and decisions.