Well-being of pre-primary students in India
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Early childhood education (ECE) in India has been the focus for the last six years. The vision of ECE in India is to provide a holistic development and an active learning capacity for children below the age of six by delivering joyful and contextualized opportunities. The National Framework provided by the Ministry of Woman and Child Development (MWCD) for ECE states that the primary focus must be on the needs of the child. The purpose of this study is to understand the well-being of students in low-income schools, both private and public systems in India. Two Anganwadis (public pre-primary centers) and four private school classrooms were observed. Interviews of seven teachers were recorded. For this study, wellbeing is defined using three concepts from Nussbaum's list of capabilities - Bodily health, Bodily Integrity and Play. The main findings of this study suggest that, in Anganwadis the focus lies on Nutrition, however, other aspects of health have been ignored. The student: teacher ratio in Angawadis were lesser than the private schools, supporting bodily integrity, however, the resources were not utilized to the best. On the other hand, in private schools, health was not the responsibility of the school. Play was observed to be given least importance in Anganwadis and private schools. The capabilities approach is used as a framework for understanding the phenomena of well-being in this study. An association between wellbeing and capabilities is drawn at the end of the study. ...
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